Monday, March 25, 2013

Ryan is 7!

Well, it's a month and a half late, but Ryan turned 7 on February 12th!  It is crazy to me that I have a 7 year old!  He is so, so big.  But he's still a sweet, loving little teddy bear on the inside, which I love about him.  He has been begging me to come to lunch at his school for a while now, and I finally went last week.  While I was sitting at the lunch table with him and all of his friends, I decided to hug and smooch on him to see if he would get embarrassed.  Nope, not even a little tiny bit.  He was proud as proud could be, and I am so very glad!  It was really sweet.  Love that Ryan boy!

So, Ryan's birthday happened to be the day we were flying home from our Florida vacation.  I was kind of thinking it would be a bit of a bummer of a day to have a birthday.  You know, leaving the happiest place on earth and sitting on a plane.  But I am happy to say that I was wrong!  Ryan's only birthday request was breakfast in bed, so we made up a tray with whatever we had--I think we made a yogurt, peach cup, cheerio parfait with chocolate milk on the side.  It looked a little sad, so we laid out 10 $1 bills with it.  And when we started singing to him and he opened his eyes, I have never ever seen him more excited about anything in his life.  Ever.  That right there could have been all we did to celebrate his birthday, and he would have been completely happy.  Note to me for next year, skip the presents and just give him $10 in cash.

Anyways, Michael and I were glad to see him so thrilled, and it was a very happy start to the day.  We had also hidden little birthday notes all over the place for him to find, which he loved.  He collected and saved them all in his backpack, and now keeps them in a little stash in his dresser drawer.  He's a sweetie.

So, we made it to the airport and onto the plane without much trouble.  It's nice that the kids are at pretty easy ages for traveling.  At least compared to what it used to be!  Michael sat in between Calvin and Sophie in the back of the plane, and I sat by Ryan kind of in the middle of the plane.  Michael had put a bunch of new, fun games on the iPad for Ryan, so I let him play it as much as he wanted on the flight, which was a real treat!  Ryan sat in the middle seat, so I was on his left and a nice man from Wisconsin was on his right.  Of course Ryan talked-talked-talked to that nice man the ENTIRE flight.  About everything.  The guy got down his camera and showed Ryan pictures of the houses he did construction on and the huge fish he had caught in Wisconsin and on his vacation in Florida.  And Ryan offered to teach the nice man how to play the games on the iPad (he politely declined).  It was a fun flight, and when we got off the jetway, that nice man found us, gave Ryan a sturdy handshake and told him how nice it was to meet him, and that he hoped he had a very happy birthday.  Then he gave him $3!  Well, if I thought Ryan couldn't get any happier, I was wrong!  That kid was in heaven, thanks to a very nice man from Wisconsin.

Well, we all got home just fine, and we had decorated the house before we left, and Ryan hadn't seen it since we had picked him up from school to head to the airport, so Ryan was very pleasantly surprised with all of the decorations and mirror notes and balloons and wrapped presents waiting for him (thank you Grandpa and Christy!)!  He elected to open them all right away and was, of course, very excited about it all.  Since we had just walked in from the airport, I didn't even attempt to make dinner or a cake.  We just asked Ryan where he wanted to go eat, and he picked Old Country Buffet (which was actually pretty gross, but what can you do?).  So we went there and had a nice time and then the tireds caught up to everybody and it was definitely time to go home!

So, Ryan said it was the very best birthday ever, and I'm glad, because effort-wise I was pretty sure I was a failure of a parent, but I guess I was wrong!  I'm certainly glad he felt like he had such a great day!  He got lots of phone calls throughout the day from family members who were thinking of him, and he felt very loved!

On Saturday we had his friend birthday party.  I told him he could invite a maximum of 5 people (last year we had 20.  And it was an art party.  There was no way I was doing that again.), so he invited a couple of friends from church and a couple from school.  He had three requests.  1. A remote control car party.  2. Watching the movie Cars2.  3. Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting piled high.  Sold!  So we invited friends to bring a remote control car if they had one and moved our living room rug so they could do races.  Well, Ryan technically didn't even have his own r/c car (Calvin owned 2...), so when his friends showed up with all of these awesome cars, Michael and I felt bad.  So Michael and Sophie snuck off to Toys R Us and got Ryan one last birthday present... When they got back, we opened presents right away, and imagine Ryan's surprise when he got a new 2 pack of remote control cars--one rad sports car and one police car to chase it!  He couldn't have been happier.  Then they all raced the cars for a good long while.

It was a pretty laid-back party.  When did pizza, cupcakes and ice cream and then put on the movie!  And that was it!  Ryan had a really fun time, and I think it turned out pretty much the way he wanted it.

So, this has been a long post already, but I though I'd just make a note of a few things about 7 year old Ryan, since at this rate he'll be 15 before I catch my breath.

     -Ryan is a sports car/ race car fanatic.  It is all he talks about, and he almost never checks out library books on any other subject (except when he gets a shark one for Calvin).  He remembers everything he reads about race cars, and often he will tell me things and I won't believe him and later I'll find out that he was actually right.  Like, for instance, how a "top fuel dragster" (who even knew those existed?) can go from like 0 to 60 in less than a second.  Seems pretty improbable to me, but he was right!
     -Ryan is still such a bright, intelligent kid.  But he seems to be funneling most of this into cars.  We are trying to get him to branch out a little, but he seems to have only one love.  And it permeates everything he does!  When he goes from point a to point b, he makes race car noises and runs into things on purpose.  When he plays with Calvin or Sophie, he almost always gets them to play race cars, and even if they resist and he gives in and plays what they want to, it always ends up involving an element of race cars.  Case in point, this morning Sophie and Calvin wanted to play "mom and dad" and Ryan wanted to play with them, so he finally got them to change the game to "race car mom and dad".  Then Calvin added on a campout element, so it ended up being "race car mom and dad campout".
     -Ryan is a very helpful boy.  He knows what is right, and he really really tries to do it.  He is always offering to help or asking what he can do for me.  The other day he said, "Mom, whatever you need, I can do for you. And that's going to be pretty much for forever."  He is a very sweet, loving boy.
     -Ryan likes to make up jokes.  They usually don't make any sense at all, but every once in a while he comes up with one that actually makes sense, and that's always fun!
     -Ryan still loves his goodnight song and back scratch routine.  Whenever he's been a little crazy or naughty and then I am tucking him in and ask what song he would like, he usually says, "Mom, I just don't think I deserve a song tonight."  And I tell him that of course he deserves a song.  And that makes him feel better.

We love our great big boy!  Happy Birthday, Ryan Bear!

Here are some pictures!

Michael and Ryan on his actual birthday, putting together his model Ferrari:




Birthday party day--opening presents:



Opening his remote control cars--look at that face!


Racing remote control cars:



Watching the movie (yes, our TV is inside our piano.  Michael can field any questions on the subject.):





 Party girl:


Ready to blow out some candles:



7 is a great age for trick candles.  2.5, on the other hand, is not.  Look at Sophie's face!




When we were ready to sing, Ryan's best little school friend, Gabe, told us he could accompany the song on the piano!  And he could!  It was awesome!



 Here's a video of Ryan blowing out the trick candles.  We told him that however many candles he ends up not being able to blow out is the number of girlfriends he has.  It was really funny.  Do yourself (and me!) a big favor, and turn down the volume until he actually starts blowing out candles.  My singing is absolutely horrendous.  Gabe's accompaniment was lovely, but in completely the wrong register for me.  I should have gone low, but I went high.  It's not pretty.  but the video is funny nonetheless!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

A really great day!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled catch-up blogging to inform you that yesterday was a really great day!  It started out with me having enough time and energy to actually get my house clean (for the first time in a while...) and just went uphill from there!  Kelly came over and we made a bazillion delicious dinners for my freezer for the coming weeks, Cora chilled out in the bumbo and was the happiest baby ever, Lily and Sophie did hair together and had SO much fun, Calvin tried to teach Sophie how to be a ballerina, we got an awesome package from Auntie Reeny, Michael and I went on a really fun date with some good friends, and then to top it all off, Ryan lost his first tooth.  But seriously, if you know Ryan, did you ever think for one second that the story of him losing his first tooth would be a typical situation?  Oh, you didn't?

This is actually one of my favorite Ryan stories, maybe almost ever.  Let me tell you all about it.  Ryan has had this loose tooth for a few days, and it has been getting progressively loose-er.  He has come up with a few ways to get it out, but always chickens out and says he'll just wait.  They were just like "I'll pull it out!" or "Calvin, you can pull it out!" or "Dad can pull it out" but then he decides to just wait.  Well, after we got back from our date, Ryan was still awake.  I had hopped in the shower, and so I only overheard bits and pieces of Ryan's conversation with Michael, but apparently Ryan got the great idea to tie a string to his tooth, and then tie the other end of the string to his remote control car and let the car yank it out!  By the time I was out of the shower and dressed, Ryan had a piece of dental floss tied around his tooth and had the car ready to go.

I tend to get squeamish about stuff like this, so I let them go try it out in the other room :)  The best part?  Michael caught the whole thing on camera!  Take a look!


Hahaha!  I laugh so hard every time!  Ryan was all ready to go and drove the car off, only to have it crash into a wall before the floss was being pulled tight.  I guess that was enough to scare him, though, because, true to his recent loose-tooth form, he chickened right out saying he was too cold and wanted to get back in bed. Well, in his anxiety to get the floss off of his tooth before he could change his mind and drive the car again, he yanked that puppy right out!  It was hilarious, and poor Ryan was shocked and didn't know what to think!  But eventually he was just plain proud of himself.  Me too, buddy.  Me too.

Well, here are a few more pictures from our great day yesterday!  Enjoy!

The kids enjoying the bubbles from Reeny's package.  (By the way, I actually do Sophie's hair everyday, it just doesn't look like it, because she takes it out at naptime... ) They LOVED the bubbles, and all of the other goodies!  Thanks so much, Reeny!





Sophie, after Lily did her hair.  Awesome, right?

I love these girls!


And these ones, too!  Cora was such a sweet little thing!  I can't believe she is already going on 9 months!


Just look at that happy girl!  That's the magic of graham crackers and a bumbo.


And here's Ryan, proudly displaying his tooth:


When Kelly came she brought with her this adorable quilt she made for baby girl.  Isn't it so perfect?  I love it, especially next to her coming home from the hospital outfit from Grandma!


 

This is getting real, people!   36 weeks on Saturday!  Woo!




So that was our awesome day.  Hope you enjoyed it almost as much as I did!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Soooo far behind!

Hi everyone!  Well, we're still here!  And I still haven't posted about the rest of our Florida trip in February, about Ryan's 7th birthday, or any of the awesome happening since.  So, here you go, the rest of our Florida trip in a nutshell!

So, as I said before, we did Universal/Animal Kingdom on Friday and Magic Kingdom on Saturday, and it was all boatloads of fun.  But it was also all very exhausting!  Did I mention we stayed at the park until 11:30 pm on Saturday night?  It was crazy.  So we all slept in a little on Sunday, and my parents had to head to the airport around noon, so we got all ready and dropped them off.  It's great living only a few hours away from them, it's makes goodbyes so much easier!  The kids were sad to see them go, that's for sure, but it didn't take them too, too long to recover.  After all we were still in Florida and still had beautiful 80 degree weather to enjoy!

We did enjoy the weather for a little while, since on the way back from the airport we stopped by the Orlando Temple (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and had a picnic lunch and walked around the grounds for a while.  It was beautiful and peaceful, and we had a great time relaxing.  I did more sitting than walking, since I was seriously disabled from dragging my ever expanding belly around Disney for 2 full, long days, but it was still lovely.  I could hardly walk.  Seriously, my stomach muscles felt exactly like they did after my c-sections.  Need help getting out of bed, help standing or sitting, serious pain and can hardly walk. 

So the good news is that we didn't have anything else planned for the entire day!  And the kids badly BADLY needed naps, so we headed back to the hotel for some naps and some fun family games.  We had a great time, and it was awesome to have a day of down time. 

Monday was our beach day!  We got up and out the door on the early side since we drove to the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida to Madeira Beach, where we had read we might have some good luck finding sharks teeth.  We didn't end up finding any sharks teeth, but the beach there was absolutely perfect!  The kids played all day, running in and out of the waves, building sand castles, turning themselves into "cinnamon doughnuts", playing baby turtle, you name it!  Michael and Ryan even tried out a little bit of snorkeling.  It was such a perfect day!  We rented a beach canopy thing with chairs, so we had a nice shady place to eat lunch, etc.  It was gorgeous! 

After spending most of the day there, we headed down the coast a few miles to another beach that someone recommended to us.  This one had lots more shells and treasures for the kids to sort through and find, so that was fun!  They collected a lot of shells!  Sophie had a piece of a pretty big shell and she fell in love with it.  The only problem was that she liked to throw it back into the water and then try to find it again.  Well, when she threw it in just as a big wave was coming her way, it disappeared, and she was very distraught!  Poor Sophie!  Then Michael helped her feel better by finding her a purple shell.  Way to go, Dad!

After that beach, we stopped for a bite to eat at a really awesome barbecue place.  It REALLY hit the spot, and after that we were on our way back to Orlando.  It was such an awesome day!

So, here are a bunch of pictures!

Sophie and Calvin outside of the temple:


Happy little Sophie:


All 3 kiddos:


Michael found this little lizard, and they were all enthralled:



Love the look on Ryan's face:


Michael would bother the lizard, and then it would jump and try to bite him.  The kids thought this was hilarious.

The temple:



Cute kiddos:



Ryan tried out his photography skills:




Sophie at the beach!


Michael and Ryan off to snorkel!


Happy Ryan boy!


Testing out the water:


Calvin wrote his name and Sophie's name in the sand.  He was very proud!


The kids playing "baby turtle".  I think they just sit in the sand and pretend to be baby turtles.


3 Amigos!



Calvin had a lot of fun with this boat!



Sophie watching the waves.  This girl was not scared of the cold water at all!  She LOVED it!


Calvin and Sophie strolling down the beach:


Happy little Sophie fish:


Ryan was not as big of a fan of the cold water, but he loved the towels!


Sophie and Daddy!


3 cute kiddos:


Sophie taking a turn with the boat:


Me and baby, relaxing on the beach!


 A great beach day!