Friday, August 28, 2009

An Interesting Year...

We had "Meet the Teacher" last night at Ryder's pre-school. It should be an interesting year. He went to the same school last year, one day a week. This year, he will be required to attend two days a week because of his age. I fully know, that I am probably more nervous than him. Honestly, it is likely that I am blowing the whole thing out proportion. I'm so scared though. He cried his eyes out last night when we showed him his room. He was a LOT better once he realized we (Matt and I) weren't leaving and two of the little girls from his Thursday class last year were there. Tuesday is going to pull my heartstrings though.

Do you know what a "Mean Mom" it makes me feel like to leave my child in a strange room screaming, while I just walk away? Heck, I already feel guilty enough that in less than 2-weeks (thats right folks.. September 8 is the big day if it doesn't happen before) we are going to turn his world upside down with the introduction of "Plus One" who will be stealing some of the limelight he has bathed in the last 2 years.

Everybody tells me it is good for him to get out and socialize. Better for him to learn to be away from me now, then to experience it for the first time in kindergarten. And, I know, I will be grateful that he is able to spend a few hours a week in a place where he is getting to play outside, go to music and learn new things...all while I am learning all the ins and outs of "Plus One".

On the plus side, we did find out that he will be required to start throwing his lunch away when he is finished. He has to sit at the table to eat his lunch, not in a booster or highchair. (We were practicing this in the picture..he sits there, but then tends to want to graze i.e. get down and play..then come take a bite.)

He will also have to start picking up toys. I initially worried about these things. I don't want him to be in trouble because he obviously hasn't mastered all of these objectives yet. Then, I decided to look at it from a new perspective: Maybe some of these good habits will follow him home!

He also loved the class fish "Prince Erick". We discovered that Hermit Crabs make him laugh..they make me a little nervous. Don't those things pinch your fingers? There is a slide in his classroom which he went up and down a zillion times. And, it sounds like they are going to get to do lots of sensory and craft activities.

Think of me next week...think of Matt next week. Between sending Ryder off and knowing that there is less than a week left of my life as I know it being a Parent of One...I am sure to be driving him crazy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Recipe Tuesday

It has been my goal, to make Tuesday's, the day I share a recipe with you. I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been very consistent, but September is a new month and I promise to "try" and post a new recipe every Tuesday! In celebration of "Recipe Tuesday", I am trying Mary's Lasagna recipe out for our dinner tonight! Go check out it's yumminess here!

The Recipe I am sharing is one I actually made this morning. It is a Chocolate Quick Bread that I had never tried before. I had two ripe bananas and I decided to mash them in as well. It turned out really good and I have unnecessarily snacked on it throughout the day! Hope you Enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Bread
In a large bowl sift together:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup cocoa

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

In a smaller bowl combine:
1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 1/4 cups sour milk*

*Sour milk: add 1 tbsp. vinegar to 1 cup milk at room temp. Allow to sit 5 minutes.

Combine mixtures until just blended.

Fold in:
2 Ripe Mashed Bananas

Pour into sprayed 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for one hour.


Just maybe....if you didn't wake up at 6:30 a.m., every single day, you wouldn't be so sleepy at 8:00 a.m. I have to admit though, you have blessed me....most Mom's don't get to do housework while their child lays back and watches Sesame Street. I love you, Ryder!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Diapers, Diapers, Diapers!!!

When we moved to our Neighborhood five years ago, I never knew what a blessing it would be. We have the absolute best neighbors, who have in turn become some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

We have "Game Night" at one of our homes, once a month. Tonight was "Game Night" at my very good friend Vicky's house. The girls all got together behind my back and planned a Diaper Shower in lieu of our usual game. It was such an awesome, awesome surprise!! I always have so much fun with these girls, even though we sit around and do a bunch of nothing. I think that is the Best Part! Thank you so much, all of you!!! You are the BEST and I am so happy to have you all within walking distance!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


While getting ready for bed, a decent parent always offers their child a good brainwashing activity. Ryder almost has "Gig'em Aggies!" down...we'll probably need a few more evenings of vigorous language mimicking before perfection is reached. Of course, appropriate attire is required for the activity at hand.

Great Sadness

I was in the middle of preparing a post about what we've been up to when I received a devastating email. I have requested prayers many times for my friend Lisa and her family. Your prayers are needed more now than ever. Sadly, the Bank's baby passed away just moments ago. Please pray that the Lord be with this sweet family and the Angel that he has taken to be with him. You can read more about the journey through their Blog. I keep listening to the lyrics of the song "I Can Only Imagine" as it plays on their blog. I guess that is really the only way to describe how I feel right now. Words really can't describe the heartache they must be feeling right now. I know Lisa, her husband Jason, and all of us praying for her were waiting for a miracle. This baby was obviously meant for a much higher purpose than anything that could have been acted out here on Earth. I feel comfort in knowing that Baby Banks will never experience the pain and sin that are present in this fallen world, but rather will only know the joy and love of those in heaven.

Lisa...I don't know what to say to you sweet friend....that is the hardest part. I would never want to be where you are today...but that is why God put you there. So many of us would not have the strength to handle what he has handed you. You should be so, so proud. You have been so resilient. All of our love is with you and tears are streaming down my face as I type these words to you. Always know we are here when you are ready...Joy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plus One

We had our final sonogram appointment for "Plus One" today. I would post the prints, but they are kind of fuzzy and I don't think they will scan very clear. He was moving all around and letting everyone know that he can't wait to meet us!

To clarify, I had two appointments today, a regular Doctors visit and then the sono this afternoon. I told Matt go to work this morning because he had a major audit on his job that I felt was very important for him to be at. He met me this afternoon and we went to the Sono together.

I actually got big crocodile tears in my eyes as the reality of having two kids began to sort of settle in. It was one of those instances where I was by myself, except for the Doctors in the exam room, and a wave of tears came over me. I had no idea why...they weren't sad tears...they were more like tears of shock and then great joy. I have an amazing Doctor and she just stood there and stroked my arm. I couldn't have asked for anything better at the moment.

Ryder and I had lunch after my first appointment at McAllister's. We love, love, love that place! I know there are only a few opportunities left for us to have time with just the two of us, so I am eating up as much as I can. I watched him eating his grilled cheese and drinking his tea (yes I give him tea because he loves it) and realized that he has no idea how his life is about to change. Crocodile Tears well up in my eyes again. In my head, I tell myself it is just the hormones. I remember right after Ryder was born I would cry and cry. Matt would ask me what was wrong and I'd say nothing...I just can't quit crying for some reason. This has got to be the same sort of cry...just happening before the baby gets here this time. Anyway, I am sending up my prayers tonight, that this transition will be an easy one for him. I can't believe the time is drawing so I am just excited to meet the little man who is jabbing my insides and keeping me up all the hours of the night!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One, Two, Threeeeeeeee!!!!!

One, Two, Three....swinging high above the trees...

...Daddy's are so much fun for little boys like Me!

(We've had this swing since Ryder was about 6 months old....Matt just keeps raising it he was in the same swing this time last year!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Q & A

My friend Mary published a Q&A post last week because she had received multiple emails asking the same questions. I have not received any emails asking any questions, but I thought it was a very fun, cute and informative I have decided to duplicate it here with just a few modifications! Here we go:

1. How did you meet Matt and does he have any siblings?
Matt and I met while both attending Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. We were Construction Science Majors and coincidentally took an Architectural History Class together my Sophomore Year and his Junior Year. It was a large auditorium class, but somehow Matt and his buddies went from sitting a few rows behind me to right beside me over the course of a few weeks. I am a creature of habit..I sit in the same place every this at Church or anywhere I go multiple times. This is how I know it was he who moved, not me. He and his buddies had some study materials for the course and we exchanged phone numbers so that I could make copies. He did initially stand me up at the library on the day we were supposed to meet to make copies. I waited for probably an hour and then left. I still never let him forget that even though he had an explanation and apologized greatly. We became inseparable. He was and still is my absolute best friend. I married the best husband a woman could ask for in July of 2000 shortly after graduating from college. Matt is the youngest in his family with two older sisters ahead of him. We are blessed to have his parents and sisters nearby with their amazing older children who help show Ryder the ropes whenever they get the chance to see each other.

2. You've mentioned you have 3 in the world did you end up with 3 dogs?
We've had them forever...what can I say? Actually, we started out with our Dixie. She is a little Sheltie girl. My older sister was getting a dog when she graduated from College. She went with my Mom and younger sister to pick the dog up and there was another little pup hunkered down beside her that they couldn't stand to leave there. This is not abnormal for my family...lets just say they have a soft heart for puppies. Already having too many dogs at their house, they naturally decided I should take the second pup. I did...we named her Dixie after the Dixie Chicken...a little ole' bar on the Northside of College Station. Shortly after we were married (like a month shortly after) we decided we wanted a "Big" Dog. We found a man who had Weimerainer puppies and decided to go take a look. We chose our Miss Blue and then he offered the runt for half-price. Who can turn down half price? Not my husband! He brought home Miss Autumn and she is my thank goodness he did! That is how we ended up with 3 dogs who have been with us our entire marriage. As troublesome as they can be...and they can will not be the same without them one day.

3. Why did you wait so long to have kids?
Matt and I were married for a little over 7 years prior to having Ryder. Why? Well for starters, we married young. I was 22 and Matt was 23. We really didn't even think about kids when we were first married. We spent the time working, adjusting to our new lives of living together, traveling and bringing the finance side of our lives in order. When we were younger, we had a plan for everything and kids just did not fit into "Our Plan". For the longest time, we said we would never have kids. We were very happy. We held the philosophy of why fix what was not broken. Ahhh...but God has an amazing way of speaking to you and showing "His Plan".

It will be three years this December when Matt's Grandpa Smith passed away. He was an amazing man and we all still miss him dearly. He left on a Sunday morning with all of his children and family by his side...I couldn't imagine a better way of leaving this Earth and journeying to Heaven. Matt and I looked at each other that evening and said we wanted kids. Two months later, we found out Ryder was on his way. My Grandmother passed away shortly after I got pregnant with Ryder. We always say that we wish the two of them could have met Ryder, but I know in my heart they already have...they all knew each other before any of us met Ryder here on Earth.

4. How has Ryder adjusted to being moved out of his Nursery and into a "Big Boy" Room/Bed in anticipation of "Plus One's" arrival?
If you read my Blog very regularly, you probably already know the answer to this question. He initially did surprisingly well, then regressed slightly, and now we are back on track again. Like any new Mom, I walked into this whole parenting gig blind. The most important thing I have learned and would advise any other new Mom is this: persistence and scheduling is key. It can be frustrating, but if you are consistent with your direction you will win. Schedules will keep you and your little one sane. Kids thrive off of schedules and repetition. When either of these are broken your little one will most certainly leave only to be replaced by a scary monster you have never seen before!

5. You work from home? What exactly is it that you do?
Well...not a lot these days! I serve as an independent 3rd party consultant to financial institutions (aka Banks) on the Construction Loans they issue. Primarily, I will visit a construction site once a month to review the status/progress of the construction and compare this to the funds they have drawn against their loan for the prior month. The purpose is to protect the Bank's interest and ensure that the funds are being drawn at a rate that is comparable to the actual work in place. There are other items that are reviewed as well...but the above is the basic idea. Besides traveling to the sites, all of the work is done here on my computer in the form of a written report that is then emailed to the Bank. That is why I am able to do this work from home, which has been a blessing. With the down turn of the economic market and the decrease in the issuance of loans, my work has slowed over the past year. I don't get worked up over it, but know instead that it is all part of God's plan to help ease my transition from being a Mom of one Boy to a Mom of two Boys! I love what I do and can't wait to get back in full swing once things turn around.

6. You said that Matt's family lives close by, where is your family and do you get to see them often?
Relatively speaking, my family is also close by. It takes me roughly one hour and 20 minutes one way to travel to my parent's house. They live in a little town called Mabank, Texas. This is the town I grew up in. If you were to put your finger on the map smack in between Dallas and Tyler, you'd land on Mabank. Most people know the area for Cedar Creek Lake. I usually see my family once a week or minimally twice a month. I have an older and a younger sister. My older sister lives in North Dallas with her little girl who is Ryder's exact age. My younger sister lives in Mabank and runs a Bed & Breakfast in town.

7. Does "Plus One" have a name yet?
Yes..he does! We have decided to keep it under wraps until he makes his grand appearance. We or I struggled with a name for this little one and that is why I initially didn't tell anyone. I felt for sure we would probably change the name, so we just kept it to ourselves. It does look like the name we chose is going to has grown on us both and I hope you all will like it, too!

Now it is your turn! Take these questions or make them your own...what a fun way to learn about each other!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nearing the End

It would seem that I am finally nearing the end of this pregnancy. Matt asked me tonight, "How are you feeling....ready to have the kid?". I laughed and replied, "Why? Do I look miserable?". He kindly said, "No, I can just tell you are uncomfortable.".

Side Note: Did I mention that Matt says things like "The Kid" and "The Boy" just so that he can hear me squeal. I tell him Ryder has a name, he is not "The Boy". For some reason, "The Boys" (plural) isn't as bad to me, so lucky for him that we will have two of them. Now I won't have a reason to squeal.

I guess he is right...I am uncomfortable. My diaphragm hurts, my sides hurt and my bladder really hurts. I assume it is my bladder...something in that region of the body hurts. I am definitely bigger this time. I tell myself that it is because my body has already been stretched, so naturally I am bigger. It is definitely not the Ice cream or the Oreos that I can not seem to resist. My "Fat Girl Clothes" aka Maternity wear are all getting too short. What I mean, is that my belly always seems to hang out..great visual, right? I refuse to go buy more. I am just wearing the same three shirts that don't show white trash belly over and over and over get the idea. I have already started daydreaming about wearing my regular clothes again. Now just everyone cross your fingers that I will be able to fit in them!

Ryder is oblivious to the fact that his world is going to be turned upside down in a few short weeks. He goes in "Plus One's" room, but I am pretty sure he thinks that is just a fun new room to run into when I accidentally leave the door open. Who can blame him? I am not even in reality yet. I keep wondering when it will all hit me. When will the reality of having two babies at home finally sink in? Maybe when I bring "Plus One" home. I pray that I will be able to give them both all of the love and attention they need. I already love this little baby inside of me, but I sometimes wonder how my heart will be able to love the love I give Ryder times two. I guess that sounds...weird...but surely I am not the first person to feel that way.

I am blaming my fewer post on my lack of energy. I know, I doesn't take a lot of energy to sit down at a computer and type. But, it does take energy to do the things I used to do during the day which I then would blog about. Ryder and I have been home bodies lately and as much as I know you would love to hear about what went on with the latest episodes of Sesame Street and Clifford...I'll spare you!

One of my favorite Blogs Grasshopper Momma just posted a fun little Q&A. I think I'll have the energy to replicate her questions and fill you in on some details about us/me this weekend. Until guys have fun...and Happy Birthday, Heather!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

....Almost....just wanted to say that we are all feeling much better!