Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Oooohhhhh - the weather outside is frightful!

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I sarted writing this in early December and only just finished on January 22nd. The timeline may seem a bit skewed!

Well that title is a great way to describe the weather in Fredericton this year so far? Oye!!! As some of you may or may not know, I had the extreme displeasure of getting in my first car accident early December and boy was it scary. Now as I explain what happened I know many of you will be shaking your heads at my foolishness, but what good are we if we have no mistakes to learn from? Jason and I always wait until the last possible moment to put our winter tires on, this year for several reasons. First, Jason is traveling non-stop in the fall and it is just to HARD for me to get there. Second, the minute we put them on the gas needle drops dramatically. Third, don't we always think that we have more time? Well, one Saturday morning we got up, looked outside and I realised that we had no more time. We were in the midst of our first snowfall. Jason was leaving again the next day and I wanted the tires on now. So I took Ryan's carseat and stroller out of the car, loaded the tires in the car grabbed my book and some snacks and headed out to wait all day if I had to to get the tires put on. I made it about 6 or 7 kms down the Hanwell road when I started to fishtail. Try as I might I could not gain control. Before I knew I was doing a 180 and slid right off of the road (on the other side facing in the opposite direction). Not only was I in the ditch but the car was propped up on the passenger side and there I was hanging. It took me awhile to get my bearings and figure out first how to get out my seatbelt and second how to get out of the car. By the time I did, there were cars backed up in either direction as far as I could see and people all around the car. Lesson learned - winter tires will be henseforth installed on the first day that law allows, October 15th! The weather has been icy and messy ever since and Ryan and I are thrilled that our chaufer is done travelling for the season and can focus his attentions on us! (UPDATE: Jason has inherited a snow blower. No more $$$$ to the plow lady.)

Now, on to happier things. How is little miss Ryan? Well, you can take the 'little' right out of there! She is one tall girl. She is wearing a size 3 snowsuit and is wearing 2t pants and some 3t shirts! She is already on her 2nd pair of winter boots and snowsuit this winter - and its only just begun! Since my last post she has grown in leaps and bounds. She started walking at about 13 1/2 months with her little elbows tucked in close to her body, fists and chin up in the air and her chest pumped out with pride. She was an expert in no time and has now moved on to running, running, running! We recently went to her 18month check-up and while she is no longer tipping the scales she is TAALLL, 33.5 inches to be exact. She can climb onto the couch by herself, does not want any help with the stairs, has not had a bottle in over a week, nor has she sat in her highchair - strictly booster seat at the table. Our baby is a whole lot less baby and a whole lot more little girl. I think I may keep her in her crib for a long, long time.

Ryan continues to develop her own unique little personality (some would even say she's a bit eccentric....). She values her personal space. Even more so when someone younger than her is in it! She LOVES her Nanny Trudy and Jason and I continue to thank our lucky stars to have found a surrogate family like the Hetheringtons for Ryan to be a part of. She is still working on her vocabulary and is trying oh so hard to speak to us. I picked her up from Trudy's one day before Christmas and was informed that she said, 'Mama Christmas!' As we approach the end of January the damn has broken and she just can't stop talking. 'Hew-wo', 'Bye', 'fower', 'wa-er', 'shoe' are just some of her many words. Oh, and there is her 1st verbal command, 'OFF" mostly this refers to the removal of unwanted clothing. She has the softest little voice.

She also has maybe has just a teeny-tiny touch of OCD (poor little pet, she comes by it honestly). A perfect example of this trait goes like this. Ryan likes to have things how they were the first time she saw them. We realized this after Christmas morning. Santa brought Ryan a tent, a doll stroller, and sitting in the stroller was Love-a-lot bear form the Care Bears. So everything stayed as it was presented until one day Mommy and Daddy decided it was time to put things away. So Mommy brought the stroller to Ryan's room with the Care Bear still seated. The next day for some reason I decide to put the Care Bear in Ryan's toy box. Later that day there was a mess on the floor and a different teddy (Sprinkles) ended up in the stroller. That night, we were going through our nightly routine of rocking and reading when Ryan glanced at her stroller and became visibly upset. 'Enhhh, enhhh!' And slid off of my lap and took the teddy out of her stroller, retrieved the care bear from her toybox, put him back in the stroller and placed Sprinkles back in the corner! Resume storytime.
I think I mentioned in the past that Ryan loves books. Well this continues with a new love of numbers and letters. An early visit from Santa (family Christmas party at work) produced an Aquadoodle which is a drawing mat that only works with a water pen. Jason has taken to sitting down at her little table with her and writing, 'Mom, Dad, and Ryan'. About 1 month ago I was watching them play and Jason asked her, 'Where is the 'M', where is the 'O' etc and she proceeded to point them all out! The next night I wrote down all of the words with her and asked them to her out of order - much to my amazment she got them all right! Then I asked her, 'which word spells Mom?' and can you imagine that she picked the right one? Letter recognition and not even 1 1/2 old! Can you say PROUD parents? Now, nearly 1 month later, she is quite the little expert and depending on her mood will fetch up to 1 dozen magnetic letters from the fridge (by name).

I'm sure that there is so much more to share but for fear that I will never get this posted I must end here. Until the next time :o)

Friday, 4 July 2008

A year already????!!!!!!

Could it really be that 1 whole year with Ryan in the world has gone by already? Although it seems to have just flown by there are some very real signs that it is indeed true! Ryan is now fast asleep in her crib after a harrowing trip to the Dr. for her 1 year appointment. It is the first time that I have seen any Dr. smile so much while on the job. Ryan was not a fan of the measuring, or the weighing, or the needles (imagine!) although she did manage to get her very own tongue depressor. Ryan has also just been to 3 full days of childcare with Trudy and appears none the worse for wear. Morning 1 there was no tears and we arrived to find her fast asleep on Trudy. Morning 2 I could see her face distort into a cry as I was walking down the steps but we arrived to find her in Trudy's arms on the deck clapping and smiling when she saw us. Morning 3 (this morning) she cried before I got to the door but I was told the tears stopped before we left the driveway. Each one of those days I was reintegrated into work and must say that it is going remarkably well. Jason is back to work next week though after 2 weeks of vacation so we'll see how everything goes then!

As any parent can attest - the level of development that happens at this age is amazing! Ryan is surprising us every day with new abilities and just how cheeky she can be. She is such a tease and knows how to get us going. One night when we were more tired than she, we decided to take her onto our bed to play (more comfy). I started tipping her over until she fell onto her back while saying 'Aaaaaaahhhhhh'. Well - this is about the funnest game in the world and she seems to know when there is someone there to catch her. Randomly she'll start saying 'Aaaaaaahhhhh'. If there is someone there to catch her, down she goes! Most of the time, when I here the tell-tale 'aaaaaahhhhh' I look at her and say, 'no Ryan - there's no one there!'. She lets herself go back a little bit and then pulls herself back up and starts laughing! In addition to shutting the computer down she's learned how to turn the TV on and off, and is constantly on the go. She also loves to sit at the computer and play with the keyboard and use the mouse. She rolls the little dial on the mouse up and down and looks at the screen to see what its doing. Both Jason and I have had the experience of taking a shower and all of a sudden feeling a cool breeze. Sure enough, when we turn around to see that Ryan is standing there looking at us while holding the curtain open. Soon enough I'm sure she'll be climbing in with us! She is also imitating alot more and sometimes I get the feeling she knows what shes saying. Like today she pointed to Jason's nose and said 'no' or when the ABC song comes on her learning table and she sings 'ABC'. I'm sure that there is alot of coincidence there. I am also just as sure that she is as smart as a tack and we miss alot of what she is trying to tell us. Soon grasshopper....

What else? It did take Ryan awhile to start to crawl but she is moving like crazy now! About 1 month ago she mastered the art of pulling herself to standing. Not long after she was cruising with the best of them and climbing, and climbing over things. It is only a matter of time before those little feet figure out everything they can do! A couple of weeks ago she got her first molar which bring her 1st year tooth tally to 7. She is pretty well established on 3 meals a day although continues to refuse to be spoon fed and has mad it very clear that she does not want fruit! Spinach no problem (must taste like dandelions) watermelon be gone!

So, when I started this blog my initial thought was to keep everyone updated for the first year and I think I will stick to that - with the odd update on the life and times of Ryan here and there. I hope that you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I hope to that you all have the opportunity to have as rich an experience as we are having with Ryan. I must admit, when we started off on this little adventure I had no idea what to expect. I had these vague images in my head of what it would all look like but really parenting is one of those things that must be experienced to be really understood. I am so happy that we made the decision to have a child and that the stars aligned and the sky opened up and gave us Ryan. I wonder everyday how much of her personality was already there and just how much what we do helps her to become exactly who she is. I hope that she learns half as much from us as we have from her and I hope that we always have the foresight and the judgement to choose what is best for our little peanut!

Until next time - Waaka waaka!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Walka walka walka!

Well Jason and I were counting on English, hoping for a solid foundation in French, but we never dreamed that Ryan would be tri-lingual! She seems to be in the process of creating her own little language; a hybrid of perhaps of some Asian dialects with a little Trekki thrown in for good measure. Which brings me to her next monumental achievement.... Ryan has started sitting up in her crib! Its to cute to see her sitting there waiting for us to come and get her. The other night I was sitting on the couch at about 10pm (imagine!) and suddenly I thought, what if she's just sitting there and can't fugure out how to lie down again!? Well, I shared this concern with Jason and he went in to peek on her. He opened the door to find her sitting up with the little dragonfly from her mobile in her hand and her mobile tipped over on its side. That's when she looked at him and said, 'walka, walka, walka'. Sadly, that's also when the mobile came down.

So what else is going on..... The beginning of the month was rough. Little Miss Ryan who has been getting her teeth much later than her peers decided that she should get four top ones all at the same time! There was alot of crying, alot of cuddling, alot of waking in the middle of the night, a little Tylenol and oragel and then - there were her 4 front teeth. I would love to get a picture of these teeth but they are elusivc.... Really only visible when she's lying down to have her diaper changed or when I'm holding her mouth open to sneak a peak :o) Ryan has discovered that she is capable of feeding herself her bottle and she does it about half the time. Usually while she's sitting on Mommy and in rare cases while we're cruising around. She's a pretty strong little girl - I've seen her hold her 8oz bottle with one hand! She has a new found love of swings - she just lounges right back and waits for the push. Oh! Most importantly of all, Ryan is eating food! In the last week she has discovered chicken and we have to just giver her a little bit at a time or she will literly stuff her mouth! Did I mention that she has started hugging us back - what a feeling!

Hmmmm..... Without being able to verbalize it Ryan is quite capable of communicating 'MINE'. Once she gets her little hands on something she is quite sure that it belongs to her and nobody else. This possesiveness comes into play over the strangest things as well. For instance, we were grocery shopping the other day and Jason was pushing Ryan in her stroller and I was swinging a 2lb bag of carrots that Ryan grabbed ahold of. When we went through the checkout we had to use the wand to scan them, she kept them in the car and even held onto them for a bit after we got home. I think we may need to work on sharing.... She has also discovered the little button on the computer that shuts it down. We are getting shut down quite often as-of-late.

With that - I'm signing off before little Miss touchy touchy does it for me!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Somebody's on the move!

You guessed it! Little Miss Ryan has put 2 and 2 together and has finally learned how to crawl (9 months and 3 weeks)! I must say, it was very exciting indeed. So how did it happen exactly... Ryan had just woken up from a nap minus her socks and I gave her a bottle. For some reason I didn't put her socks back on her like I usually do. I was talking to my friend Pam on the phone and I put Ryan on her playmat and walked to the kitchen. And then, I turned around towards the dining room and there she was peeking around the corner! She has been close to crawling for weeks now but always seems to just slip and slide. My guess is that without her socks she finally had enough traction to go somewhere! Forget about the playmat and the TV. Ryan is all over the house now. She is showing some wear and tear as well - a little blister is forming on her big toe! Another big milestone... Ryan had her first haircut! She handled it like a trooper - we took her to the mall and put her in a shopping cart and she sat in the basket while her stylist (lol) went to work. The only complication was that she really wanted to see the sissors and the comb!

We are happy to say we have secured childcare for Ryan as well. She will soon be spending her days with Trudy! For any of you who have been through the search for childcare, we had been to see a few people and left with alot of apprehension. When we left Trudy's we felt a great weight being lifted from our shoulders. Yeah! We hope that Ryan will love being at Trudy's almost as much as she enjoy's being home.

In the last month Ryan has also had cold #5 and #6. The worst she had was a stuffed up nose and perhaps a leaky eye. Within 4 or 5 days she was as good as new. Her top teeth have not made an appearance yet although I swear they will be out soon (note that Ryan loves to make a liar out of me)! She is also boycoting food in the solid form - all varieties. It all started with cold #5. She would get so frustrated at meal time that she would get agitated as soon as we put her in the highchair. We have now taken to sitting her with us at meal time with some finger foods. Occasionally I catch her mouth moving which I am taking as an indication that she put something in it? For now though, she is thriving on formula and will be until she decided its time to chew!

With each passing day there is more and more that Ryan is learning to do. She has definitely learned that she has control over our emotions and reactions and loves to 'scare' Nanny. She also loves to listen to music and shakes and wiggles when it comes on. As always, everything still goes into her mouth but now she likes to offer it to us as well - for a taste? for a kiss? Going for a walk in her stroller is still among the faves although I have learned after an hour and 1/2 walk with Sarah and Ava that 40 to 50 minutes is her thresh-hold. She loves to look around at everything and LOVES it especially when people stop to say hello - especially if there are children with them.

Until the next time!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Where is spring? Anybody? Anybody?!

The calendar says its spring. My yard tells me something different! I just figured out that I will be lucky to have 1 month of nice weather before I go back to work. Only 3 months to go - yikes! So you've probably guessed that we have started to look for childcare for our little peanut, and you're right. Someday soon we will have to get up in the morning, get ready for work, get Ryan up and dressed and fed, drop her of in the capable hands of a sitter, and get both of us to work for 8? I shudder to think of how we are going to get this done as I sit here in my sweats with a head of hair that bares a striking resemblance to Carrot Top's.... Enough about me and my woes :o)

I am ashamed to admit that it has been almost a month and a half since I last wrote. I wouldn't admit it at all except its plain for all to see. So, what can happen to a baby between 7 and 1/2 and 9 months? Lots! Ryan is growing like a weed and going through clothes faster than I can shop for them. She now weighs about 22 lbs and is wearing 18 to 24 month clothing. While all of my friends with babies are taking advantage of clearout prices and buying clothes for next fall and winter I don't even dare - I have no idea what size Ryan will be!

So what's happened? Cousin Nathan and Natasha came to visit over their March break and we made it in to get pictures taken. Even though it was quite a challenge to get everyone looking in the same direction (and looking like the were happy to be there) I must say they are a pretty handsome trio. Ryan amused everyone with her latest love - rocking on her rocking moose. Nathan was very generous and brought Ryan his collection of children's books as well so we are in the process of reading through them - thanks Nathan! She was also thrilled to have her Nana visit for almost a week while Jason was in Alberta. It didn't take her long to realize that Nana was fun, fun, fun and she did alot of laughing that week! Thanks for coming Nana - we hope that you do it again soon :o)

So what else? Ryan is well established on solids most of the time. Some days she just doesn't want any, much to my dismay. She just purses her little lips and not a thing will get them to open, not even her beloved prunes (I know, she's already eccentric). She is not crawling yet but she does manage to get from one place to another. She LOVES to make her way from her playmat to the tv where she immdiately starts playing with the basket of remote controls. She has also discovered how to open drawers and cupboard doors and before to long we will be locked up like Fort Knox I'm sure. In the last day or so she has started pushing up on one foot and overextending when reaching for various treasures. This brave new move has resulted in quite a few tumbles and bumps on the noggin. Hopefully she learns how to brace or catch herself before there is a concussion. Her favorite book right now is 'Froggy Gets Dressed' (from Nathan. There are lots of sound effects and she loves them.

What else..... Oh yeah, Ryan has teeth! The bottom 2 made an appearance right after my last post without to much trouble. She has been a little out of character the last day or so - maybe the top ones are on there way? I guess I'll let you know next time :o) Well, that's all for now folks! I'm off to make a card for a soon to be new addition to the family! My brother Ian and his wife Liz are expecting a little girl within the next couple of weeks. Yeah!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Cupid strikes!

Oopsey! Looks like Mommy is getting a little lazy with the blog! It could be because I'm so busy looking out the window watching the snow fall and running to the bank to get money for the Plow Lady. I must say, we've been seeing to much of her!!!!

Well what is new with my little Ryan? ALOT!! I can't believe how much she is growing and developing into her own little person. I think that Daddy and I will definitely have our hands full and so far, we're loving every minute of it! I am sad to say the bouncy chair is no more - along with the bumbo. I realized last week that I hadn't put her in it for a couple of weeks. So, I popped her in to see how she fit and found that she was spilling out everywhere! Now she is spending her time in her exersaucer, jolly jumper, and playmat on the floor. In the morning, Ryan will sit on her playmat and take in the wonders of CBC Kids. She gets so inthralled that Jason nearly has to stand on his head to get her attention long enough to say good-bye. When Mommy and Daddy eat their supper little Ryan joins us at the table in her fancy new high chair. She is also spending lots of quality time in her highchair trying out lots of different foods. Her repetoire consists of about a dozen different fruits and veggies so far. We get lots of different facial expressions to tell us what she thinks and for the most part, she is OK with most. Ryan is still not rolling over. I was a little concerned for awhile but we've come to the conclusion that her distaste for tummy-time coupled with her love of sitting up on her own have stalled her in that area and she will most likely crawl before she rolls. We'll see!
So what does Ryan like to do? Watching Lucy is #1. When Lucy gets close enough (sometimes by accident, sometimes intentional I think) and Ryan is in full control of her hands, she will reach out and grab her and pull her in close. Sometimes she gets Lucy, sometimes she gets a mitful of fur. We almost always get to see smiles and giggles. And don't we love to hear her laugh?! I was watching Oprah a couple of weeks ago and she had a guest on with the last name, Lebouton. I looked at Ryan and said 'Lebouton' and she started to belly laugh. I tried lots of other words to no avail. Lebouton was the funny word of the day! You just never know eh? Ryan also loves to spend time with her little friends Ava and Juliana and gets very excited when she sees them. Almost as excited as she gets when she sees her Daddy coming home from work - now that is fun!
I can't wait to see what's new next month!

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Oh no - Christmas and New Years have come and gone and that means that I am officially on the last half of my maternity leave! Time to enjoy every single minute (or at least recognize that I am enjoying it) of my time at home with Ryan. She's 6 months old now and I can't believe how fast she is changing and what a beautiful little girl she is.

The holidays were a perfect combination of lazy and busy. We went to Bathurst the week-end prior so that we could spend time with family and then we were back to Freddy so that Santa would know exactly where to find us! We have spent Christmas in Fredericton the last couple of years but it was especially fun being our first time as a family. Santa did find Ryan... Rumour has it he worked very hard putting her new toybox together on Christmas Eve. When she woke up on xmas morning she (or should I say we) were delighted to find her toybox and a great new sled! She did pretty good opening her presents as well. We sat her on the couch and gave her a little head start by ripping the paper a bit and then she ripped it a bit more! With a little help from Mom and Dad we were in a pile of paper in no time! December 30th was Jason's b-day and Ryan helped Mommy make Daddy a special card and then came the New Year which we rang in as quietly - just the 3 of us, and enough food for a small army (can you say New Years Resolution?).

So what's up with Ryan you might ask? She has personality to spare and wakes up with more every morning. We began introducing a bottle to her and by December she was taking to it quite well. Another bottle here and another bottle there and all of a sudden she was completely weaned. It was very easy in the end and I am so thankful for that - I hear it is not always the case... She had her first cold with the runny nose to prove it. I think it was more traumatic for Jason and I than it was for her. The nurse says she can get between 8 and 10 a year so we better get used to it. Ryan began eating 'solids'. I have to laugh because her first 'solid' food was runny oatmeal. She took to it great at first and is now acting somewhat (totally)disinterested. Today we might try sweet potato. Maybe it will be more palatable? She is showing lots of interest in various little toys and is almost as big a fan of Dr. Suess as her mother is! Zippered sleepers have become quite the challenge as she seems to know that if she locks her knee then we can't change her diaper - what a smart little cookie!
All in all we are plodding along well - always marveling at how much someone can change in such a short period of time!