In my last post, I forgot to post about my wreath I made December 6! Every year, the sisters in our ward have a wreath making party and anyone is welcome to come. It only costs 8 dollars to make a wreath from scratch. Last year I missed it, so I was really excited to go this year! It seemed kind of tricky by the way they were trying to explain how to do it, but I guess mine turned out okay for my first time! :) Joe's parents hung it up out front for me (they are so kind).
I meant to cut the longer tail of the bow to make it even, but it never happened. Oh well!
I think it's perfect for their door! :)
I was going through pics on my camera, and I found this goody. Ryker looks thrilled, doesn't he?
I cannot believe that Christmas time is already here, and there are only 6 days until Christmas! Time is really flying by! I am 33 weeks pregnant already (!) and our little girl is scheduled to arrive January 28th at 8:30 a.m. unless she decides that she wants to make an appearance earlier. I just feel like there is so much to do and so little time, and yet I wonder "what is there to do?" haha.
So we've just been living life as usual. Joe is working hard like usual, but it's nice because he has almost 2 weeks off, so he doesn't go back to work til after Christmas! Originally, his work schedule was for him to work Christmas eve and Christmas, but he took both days off. We're happy about that! We want Joe to spend Christmas with us! :) He doesn't get triple pay since he is not working those days, but he will still get paid, so we can't complain!
Ryker just finished his second set of swim lessons at the YMCA. He is doing so well! He is getting more and more comfortable in the water and he'll even jump (more like lean) from the side of the pool. He still isn't blowing bubbles, but he is kicking and paddling a bit. He is going to start going with his Mimi (Joe's Mom) to his next set of lessons since I will be 35 weeks pregnant by the time they start up again and eventually I'll have the baby, so we figured we'd get him started on going with Mimi so he can get used to it. He also like to go to the YMCA for open gym, where he can play in the huge gymnastics room and do whatever he wants (it's free). Ryker's language is really starting to come along. There is still a lot we don't understand (he has his own language sometimes), but he is saying more and more words and it is just starting to explode! He is obsessed with balls and running. I think we have a little athlete on our hands! He is beginning to look more and more like a little boy! I cannot believe it. He is growing up so fast! We love him so much!
Joe and I went to his work Christmas party on December 8th. Last year they didn't have one, so I was excited to get to go this year. Oh boy, was this party fancy! I almost felt like I was dressed down when I saw some of the fancy dresses some of the women were wearing, but then I did see some women with slacks, so I felt better. It was in this ginormous room with beautiful decorations. They had a coat drop off at the front, and they gave us each 2 tickets for free drinks (which, of course, we got sprites!) but even the sprites were like 6 bucks each, so that was nice to get them free. The food was fancy and delicious, and they had music and dancing. We had fun dancing and laughing at the drunk people. ;) I got to meet a few of Joe's co-workers who all seemed pretty nice. It was a nice date night for us, as Ryker stayed home with his Mimi and Grampy (he always has fun with them!)! Here is just one pic that we got at the party. I should have taken more pics. It was nice!
Ryker has been having a lot of fun getting on his Uncle Steve's back, so one day he got on Daddy's back, and he just laid down and hugged him (this was right before bed when we were doing family scriptures). It was so cute! In the last pic, we told him to close his eyes and pretend he was asleep. He couldn't help but peak! haha
On December 15th, our ward had our Christmas party. It was actually a brunch this year. We did a few service projects for terminally ill children in the hospital. It was a great party. We made Christmas cards, snowmen, New Years bags, and fleece blankets. I mostly helped with the cards and snowmen. I don't think I could have sat on the floor to tie blankets with this big belly in the way haha. Joe had to work that day, but Ryker and I had a good time. Ryker played with his best friend Jenna.
He was getting a little wild at this point in the party (no, I didn't give him any cookies)
I really didn't think they were going to have Santa there, but they surprised us at the end with Santa! It was our bishop who dressed up as Santa, so that was pretty fun! Ryker didn't cry, but I'm not sure he was thrilled. I think the candycane helped keep him calm a little bit.
My mom sent our family a cute little fisher price nativity scene! Ryker loves that thing so so much! It lights up and plays the song "Away in a Manger" He knows who the baby Jesus is and a few of the animals. As you can see from the second picture, he prefers the animals on top of the stable instead of the angel. I don't know why, but he doesn't want that angel up there. It's kind of funny that the animals will attach on top too. Actually I think all the animals and people can. Anyways, we love it! Thanks Mom!
Monday marked 31 weeks into this pregnancy. I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is going! I am getting bigger and my belly is really getting in the way, and I am starting to feel overwhelmed with getting ready for our second child! There is still a lot of organizing to do and what not. Ryker is keeping me very busy as it is! Seriously, that child wears me out! On a positive note, my mother-in-law is always willing to help with Ryker so I can get things done, rest, etc. It is really nice. Having Ryker in our family brings us so much joy, and I am very excited for our little girl. I am very excited for Ryker to have a sibling too!!!
Ryker really enjoys to pull people's glasses off of their face, so I decided to pop the shades out of these dollar store sun glasses and let him wear these. As you can tell by the photo, he broke them so I taped them up. He looks so intelligent!
Joe really wanted his head shaved (he gets to a length where it just bugs him), so I decided Ryker was due for a buzz himself. I think they look very handsome!
3 of Ryker's favorite things: coloring, brushing his teeth, and toilet paper (rolls)
The pregnancy continues to go well. I am growing fast and this little girl is very active! Like a ballerina in my stomach or something! For the most part this pregnancy has been just as easy as my pregnancy with Ryker...except I get pain in my lower back and my hips and butt. I have to be careful to not carry Ryker too much and to find a balance between being on my feet and sitting. Ryker is 30 pounds, so I am pretty sure he is adding to my pain. I wasn't carrying anyone around when I was pregnant with Ryker. Also, I think I am carrying lower with this one. But in all honesty, I can't really complain because the pain has been bearable, except for maybe a couple times and that is it. We still can't believe it took less than a month to get pregnant with our little girl! We anticipated AT LEAST as long as it took with Ryker (2 months), but we are very very grateful for this opportunity for us to raise a family and thank Heavenly Father everyday for trusting us enough to be their earthly parents. We love our kids so so much! :)
The little cutie is growing up so fast! Poor kid always get red eye like his mom and dad.
Hurricane Sandy hit us Monday afternoon and the eye of the storm hit us that night. I tried to get a pic, but it just looked like a rainy day. A picture wouldn't do it justice (unless it was a pic of a fallen tree or something), but a video might have worked. It was a little bit scary for me, but we didn't have it nearly as bad as NY and other areas. We lost power (Ryker was very confused about why the light switches weren't working, a little bit frightening for him) for about 15 hours. We feel very blessed to be safe and sound and pray everyday for those families who lost loved ones or their homes have been affected by this superstorm!
It was still a little rainy, but the storm passed in time for our ward Halloween party on October 30. Here is Ryker the monster with his best nursery friend Jenna the Elmo monster! :)
I told him to give her a hug. He looks like he is trying to plant one on her! haha
Unfortunately those are the only pics I got at the party. I had to chase Ryker around. He wouldn't stay still. He did 3 carnival games and went trunk or treating. I was surprised how well he did for how young he is!
Ryker getting ready to go trick or treating on Halloween night!
Joe picked out this Halloween costume at Old Navy. I think he made a good choice. Ryker makes a cute little monster!
The best pic we could all get together! He was pretty squirmy!
"uh oh Mom, I ripped Grampy's dart apart!"
I loved this costume also because he could wear his shoes and there was a strap to keep his monster feet down.
Ready to go!
"Ummm...can we go?"
Joe and I had so much fun taking Ryker trick or treating this year! Last year obviously Ryker was only 7 months and Joe was working that day and it was colder last year. This year Ryker is mobile and Daddy got to come! Plus, it was a beautiful night! Not nearly as cold as it was last year! We went down our street and did a huge loop around the neighborhood. I could not believe how well a one and half year old did with that distance! No stroller or anything! He did ride on Daddy's shoulders a couple of times though. Everyone loved his costume, and he did really well knocking on doors and taking only one piece of candy out of their bowls. He almost always chose a reeses or snickers. haha. Oh, and he waved bye bye to everyone too. A couple of times he tried to invite himself into their homes, and he also insisted on closing their screen doors on them. It's alright, they still thought he was cute after that. HAHA! I thought that he was going to try and pull all his candy out of his bag after he got it, but he did so well at putting it in each time he got it. He also loved seeing all the other little kids. It was just really fun for us. Joe and I admitted that we felt like kids again being out there with Ryker. I know I am bragging about Ryker a lot, but I was just excited that he had a great time and that he wasn't too much of a struggle...as he has been lately...I think he's reached the terrible 2's a little bit early sometimes... but then there are times when he's a little angel, so I can't complain!
Here is Ryker's loot. That thing was shoved full. I had to take a couple of big things out (caprison, animal crackers, famous amos cookies) and shove them in my pockets while we were walking because candy was falling out.
Ryker eating his Halloween pretzels...one of the very few things he gets to eat out of his candy bag...the rest is for Mommy and Daddy! haha
We spent the rest of our time in Florida having some fun in the sun, playing in pools, at waterparks, and just relaxing and seeing all the sights that we could see! There were several different pools at the place that we stayed at. We had heard about a HUGE fun pool that had a spot with fountains for kids to run around. As you can see from the pictures below, Ryker thoroughly enjoyed those fountains. I was really surprised how fast he ran into those fountains! I guess his swim lessons are really helping him get comfortable with all water!
On Thursday night, Joe and I visited the Orlando temple which was only 9 miles down the same road we were staying on. Joe's mom watched Ryker so that we could go in and do an endowment session and we even got to help out with some sealings! It was a great experience! We went to sacrament meeting on Sunday in the chapel right across the street from the temple.
Friday we decided to throw our suits on and lather up in sunblock and head to wet n' wild! I went there as a child in Las Vegas and they got rid of the huge water park a few years back, so this was exciting for me! (even though I couldn't ride most the rides, haha) Joe had a lot of fun riding the rides. He had never been before, so that was neat! Also, we just found out that they are bringing back Wet n' Wild in Las Vegas so that is pretty cool!
Friday night we made some chocolate chip cookies. Joe and I wanted to get them made before his parents and Aunt and Uncle and fam next door left Saturday morning. We didn't want to eat all those cookies ourselves. Ryker was having fun looking at them bake. Our oven at home doesn't have a window or light to see through, so that was exciting for him!
Like I mentioned in the first post about this trip, we had a jacuzzi tub in our room, so we took advantage of that thing! I think we literally were in there everyday. Ryker loved it!
I lived in Mississippi for 5 years of my life, and liked this place called Stake n' Shake. This was also another first for Joe! So we went (twice while we were there, we liked it so much! :)) They gave Ryker a cute hat and the usual crayons and paper. Joe really loved how delicious the food was for how cheap it was! And the shakes are nice and huge and delicious!
This place we stayed at was so amazing! Glad that Joe's cousin and her husband were willing to let us use it for a week for cheap! They even provided Ryker with his own crib (super nice, since I don't enjoy lugging around his pack n play) and a high chair! I told him to lay down so I could take a picture of him in his bed. So cute! And this is the last pic we took on the trip. We headed back to the airport on Sunday afternoon after going to church and cleaning up and packing at the time share. Successfully dropped off my first rental car without a scratch! The flight home was nice and smooth despite the fact that Ryker was pretty squirmy. Books are life savers! :)
So, I'm really good at putting off blog posts, but I know if I keep putting this blog post off, I will get really behind! So, we spent Wednesday at Universal Studios in Orlando. It was great!
The kids looked like they were having the time of their lives at Univeral Studios! (This was right when we got there, after I lathered Ryker up with sunscreen- he hates when I put that stuff on him)
Ryker at Seuss Land riding the Dr. Seuss carousel. One of the few rides I was allowed on! :)
Daddy and Ryker eating some popcorn
A failed attempt at getting a pic of the three of us on the one fish, two fish ride
Ryker really didn't want to take a picture. He wanted to play with the controls!
One of the biggest things I was looking forward to in Orlando was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! It was part of Universal's Islands of Adventures, and although I was bumbed that I couldn't ride any of their rides, I had so much fun being there! It felt like I was really at Hogwarts. People were dressed up as wizards and witches, and according to Joe, the rides were way awesome. I'm glad that we got to experience it! Fun times!
This was entering Harry Potter World. I had to get a pic right away!
Platform 9 3/4!
All the shops were packed! It was fun to go in there and look at the stuff.
The heat really wore Ryker out!
I loved how much it felt like being in the movie! haha
It ended up being smaller than I expected, but it was really nice! Especially when we got to try the Butterbeer!
You could get the Butterbeer in the mug, but you had to pay for the mug. We just went the cheap route.
MMMM! It was delicious. It just tasted like a sweet drink! Ok, I totally thought it tasted like cream soda. Yum!
Joe liked it, but he's not a big cream soda guy, so I drank pretty much the whole thing by myself. haha
Welcome to Hogwarts!
Hogwarts and Hogsmeade
We went into the wand shop and tested out some of the wands. Joe's first wand was Voldemort's wand.
I chose to try out Professor Albus Dumbledore's wand! I felt very powerful.
Joe's next choice was the wand of Severus Snape. Good choice! We were going to do more of them, but it was crowded in there! We saw someone with Hermione's. I think hers looked the most awesome! Also, we were trying to find Ron Weasley's to see how his looked (lol), but we couldn't find it.
We went into a huge arcade to cool off for a little bit. Ryker loved this motorcycle. He loves all cars, motorcycles, trains...anything with wheels. Doesn't he look happy?
Next stop after Island's of Adventures was Universal Studios. I could not ride one single ride in this park...except the Terminator 2 ride because we had special stationary seats. It was fun to walk around and see the sights. Joe had fun riding a few rides for me too. :)
Ryker playing in the Woody the Woodpecker's kid's zone. They had these buttons all around this playground that made animal sounds. Ryker was so funny. He kept running to every animal to hear the sounds they make. He thought it was so awesome. He loves buttons.
Ryker and I had Joe ride this little gem of a ride for us! haha! It was like a little kid's roller coaster, but Ryker wasn't tall enough to ride it yet.
We ate at a little 50's diner drive-in place at Universal, and one of the workers there thought Ryker was the cutest thing ever, so she gave him a big chocolate chip cookie for free. As you can see, he also snatched himself a couple of our french fries. I love how he looks like a chubby bunny in this picture! We had so much fun, but I think we literally walked a marathon that day, and we were happy to get back to our place and off our feet to relax!