The Best Baby Hats!

Since I have so many new and expecting mommas in my life, I thought I would finally get this post up!   image-1

I first saw Infanteenie Beenie hats on this blog. I loved that they were cute and functional! When we learned that Ryder would likely be born early, I went ahead and ordered a couple of hats for him. Little did we know he would be born 8 weeks early the very next day! Read that story here.

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When Ryder was in the NICU he was not able to wear any clothes until he was at least 4 pounds and could maintain his temperature. Since he was so long and skinny it took a  couple of weeks. I was so glad I had these hats in the meantime, because they were the only thing he was allowed to wear.

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The NICU nurses loved them too. In a way it made me feel more like he was ours than just another baby in the NICU.

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The hats fit his teeny tiny head great, and they washed great! We had an unfortunate incident with Polyvisol and his feeding tube one night, but a little Oxiclean got it right out. I was so relieved since this hat was part of his homecoming outfit!

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I have since gifted these hats to fellow NICU mommas, but they are great for full term babies too. They are made to fit all babies’ heads (Ryder was wearing them at 3 lbs, 5 lbs, and 7 lbs). I love that the girl ones have the cute bows without having to find a headband that won’t slip and slide!

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If all of that isn’t enough, my own sweet babe is a model on her Etsy site, here and here.  ;-).

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So I mean what are you waiting for, go stock up at her Etsy shop here!

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*I bought these hats on my own, and all opinions are my own. I was later compensated for a review. Professional photos were done by Paper Moon Photography

Until next time friends.

Friday Favorites

TGIF!!! I am linking up with Momfessionals for Friday Favorites today. I promise more regular blog posts are coming soon!

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First favorite:

Ryder is now in a “big boy” bed! We have a crib that converts to a toddler then full size bed. He has never climbed out of his crib, and actually loves it so we kept putting this off. Surprisingly he has slept great all week and has not gotten up once! We even have to go tell him to get up in the mornings. Fingers crossed naps are just as smooth this weekend.

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Second favorite:

The fair! We actually went to the fair 2 nights this week. We went Monday night and it was perfection. It was cool and cloudy, and no one was there! No lines, no crowds, fair food and rides! We accidentally got 2 extra tickets on Monday night, so we went back Tuesday night. It was dollar ride night and the weather was great, so it was packed! There were crazy lines to get in, get food, and get ride tickets. Ryder did great both nights and loved the rides. He kept a straight face, but kept asking for more!

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Third favorite:

Football! We went to the game last night sans child and it was nice! The weather was nice, and the wine was nicer 😉 I also love that Ryder did great with new sitters last night, my cousin and soon to be new cousin. Our parents usually keep him, so I can’t remember the last time he stayed with a non-grandparent.

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Fourth favorite:

This is Us on NBC. I mean those endings though! Sheesh, can’t get enough! I have also been renewing my love of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

THIS IS US -- Pilot -- Pictured: (l-r) Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Fifth favorite:

Halloween costumes! I have ordered and received both of Ryder’s costumes for this year. Here is a sneaky peek….

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Until next time friends.

Save

PCOS Awareness Month

PCOS Awareness Infographic (PRNewsFoto/PCOS Challenge, Inc.)

In honor of September being PCOS awareness month, I thought I would re-share my initial journey with PCOS. Click here to read the full story: https://whizdoms.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/our-journey-to-pregnancy-part-2/

PCOS continues to impact my life and our ability to grow our family. I am currently back on Metformin, and hope to find the means and motivation to stick to the PCOS diet (no dairy, no carbs, no sugar, no starches/i.e. paleo).

I am open for questions or discussions if any of you are struggling or believe you might be struggling with PCOS yourself!

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Until next time friends.

What’s Up Wednesday

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In an effort to lighten things up around here I thought I would link up with Mix and Match Mama for What’s Up Wednesday! My previous What’s Up Wednesday post is here. I do want to say thank you, though, to everyone who has commented, messaged, and texted me about yesterday’s post! We are all in this together ladies!

WUWquestions-edit-969x1024What we’re eating this week– OUT, like all of our meals. It is ridiculous y’all! Chad has been obsessed with our new Indian food place (Tikka Shack) lately, and I have been loving Chipotle.

What I’m Reminiscing About– Where did my baby go? Ryder seems to grow up more each day. He is such a big kid sometimes!

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What I’m Loving– I have  been obsessed with blackberry lemonades from Sonic this Summer. Also, I am loving the cooler weather (just not all of the rain).

What we’ve been up to– Chad and I went to Ruidoso by ourselves a couple of weeks ago! It was a nice little getaway. Chad had a blast on the go carts! Other than that it is the same old same old.

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What I’m dreading– Potty training Ryder. Is that bad? I am really not looking forward to the training part. We have started a little, but we are definitely not committed yet.

What I’m working on– new blog posts 😉 Also, making a schedule/plan for my new job next week!

What I’m excited about– Joining a new MOPS group next week!

What I’m watching/reading– So I have been collecting quite a stack of books this Summer. I really hope to dive in soon! They include: Strong Willed Child, Have a new Kid by Friday, Switch on your Brain, and Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. Sensing a trend? I have also been eyeing: Uninvited and Miracle Morning. As far as what we’ve been watching it was two full weeks of the Olympics! We are also excited that Camp Cutthroat is back!

What I’m listening to– My current favorite song is Something Wild by Andrew McMahon and Lindsey Stirling . I am a sucker for songs with lots of strings and piano.

What I’m wearing– So a friend got me hooked on LuLaRoe this Summer, and I cannot get enough! I looooovvvveee the leggings and Irmas! I also like the fun Cassie skirts. I was so excited to find this one because it is fun and classy!

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What I’m doing this weekend– I am off on a solo trip to Yuma, Arizona! My bestie lives out there, and I have not been in far too long! I am excited to visit the land of dates and have a night all to myself in a hotel 😉 I am also excited to get in lots of baby snuggles with her latest addition.

What I’m looking forward to next month– Texas Tech football! Guns up! Wreck ‘Em! Ryder is excited too, I mean how adorable is here in his Tech gear? I am just a little sad I am missing the season opener this weekend.

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What else is new- I start my part-time job next week! You can read all about that here.

Well that was a down and dirty catch up!

Until next time friends.

 

 

Figuring Out I Can’t Do It All

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Things have been a little quiet around here after my ambitious goal of getting caught up over 2 months ago! In fact I have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. This post is pretty vulnerable for me, but maybe someone else needs to hear what I heard. I also applaud all the mommas out there whether working full-time, part-time, or stay at home.

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Last week I read a blog post of a news anchor. Her very first paragraph started with how proud of herself she was for being a wife, mom, working full-time, and running a charity on the side. At first I felt a twinge of jealousy, as I have a lot in the past of other moms who make it look easy, but then just as quick as it came on it faded into peace. I always thought I could do it all and have it all. I thought I could work full-time and still be there for everything my son needed. In fact, I did think I had it all until a couple of months ago when it was brought to my attention that I was not giving my best at work. If I am being honest, I probably expected this for a while in regards to certain things; however, for it to be an all-encompassing statement was devastating to me. I am still a perfectionist and people pleaser to my core so this news sent me in a tail spin. I immediately thought back to all of the late nights and weekends that I had dedicated to this job, and simultaneously felt the same guilt that I did in those moments when I was spending precious time away from my son.

Thus began a little mini journey of self-discovery. I sought out advice from anyone and everyone who would listen. Working moms, stay at home moms, retired moms, and from them I received little tidbits of advice that kept resonating in my head. My own mom had stayed home with us until we were in Junior High! The first revelation that came to me was from a very dear, sweet friend who told me that when I die my legacy will not be my career, it will be my family. Y’all, that hit me like a ton of bricks. I mean unless I cure cancer or when a Nobel prize, no one will remember me from Adam. My family, though, they are the ones that my memory will live on in. She told me this as I poured my heart out about how devastated I was that I was not meeting expectations at work. I mean the clarity that she gave me in that moment was priceless.

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Next, I sought the advice of a counselor. I am not ashamed to admit this. I have already poured my heart out on this very blog about my history with anxiety.  I was very blessed to find another Christian counselor who had also stayed home with her kids for many years. She very candidly pointed out to me that I only have so much to give (duh); but that maybe if I was giving my best at home, I wasn’t giving my best at work. Y’all, that was another gut punch. I mean I know I only have so much to give, but I thought that by working nights and weekends and checking email on my phone 24/7 maybe I was giving my best at work still.  I even asked some fellow working mommas where their “give” was. How did they do their best at home and at work? Of course, I got varying answers. Some felt like they gave less than their best at work, while others missed out on school parties for their kids. The truth is, as I am sure it is for many of you, when I am at work my mind is at home. My heart is always with Ryder. In that same boat of honesty, though, when I am at home my mind is at work. I was constantly checking email on my phone and formulating plans on when I was going to finish what task. This counselor also told me that I don’t have to be successful right now in my 30s. I have plenty of time to focus on my career, and maybe right now is not that time. I see so many young people who have already climbed that career ladder, so furthering myself in my career was always something I strove for.

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After all of those revelations hit me like a ton of bricks, it was time to be honest with myself. This part hurt a little, because I realized I was not giving my best at HOME either. Of course Ryder ALWAYS came first; however, when I am checking email on my phone, I am ignoring my son who desperately needs me. I would often come home from work so drained that I couldn’t even get out of the recliner to give Ryder a bath. My attentiveness at both home and at work was failing. I also had to realize that Ryder and myself are both sick a LOT. Maybe I never did get over Mono when I had it last Fall and did not give myself a chance to rest, or maybe I just need to get healthy with diet and exercise. In the same token maybe it is the stress taking a toll on my body, or maybe it is ALL of it. You see when Ryder is sick and not sleeping well, that just wrecks me. So we get in this cycle of Ryder being sick, then me, then sometimes Chad, then repeat!

On the days where Ryder is sick I would usually stay home with him in the mornings, then my mom would watch him in the afternoons. In my mind this was a great arrangement because I was only missing a half day of work which I usually made up. In reality, it was still a lot of time taken away from work. Enter guilt. As any mom knows, a sick baby is the quickest way to pull at the heart-strings. I would drive to work in tears some days because I just wanted to rock and comfort my baby. As Ryder got older he felt it too, and would even communicate “no momma go work”.

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So I had come to terms with all of the above, but “now what?”. We left on our 7 day cruise immediately following this and it still haunted me every night while I slept. I came back prepared to give my two weeks notice immediately, but fortunately I have a great dad and wonderful husband who talked me down off of that ledge. After much discussion, we decided that maybe it was time for me to find a part-time job. Talk about scary. I had prided my identity on being a “full-time working mom”. In the mean time I would work to correct the things that were previously brought to my attention.

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I love what I do, really, and I love working on campus. I just needed to find something that was WORTHY of my time away from Ryder. No more nights and weekends for me to just barely stay caught up. I wanted something on my terms that met my family’s needs. Picky much? I used to be an excellent job hunter, but it has been a while. The part-time jobs on campus were pretty scarce so I just applied for all of them. In what was a little bit of an ego-boost I got called right away for two of them!

Long story short, two hours after an interview I was offered the job with a 1 PM-5 PM schedule on campus. The position will focus a lot on marketing which would be a new skill for me to learn. You would think that accepting it would be a no brainer, but I really wanted to put my family’s interest first. Again, I sought out advice from lots of moms and talked about it to death with my husband. Would I really be getting more time with Ryder? Was this the right move for us financially? I should note that I did pray about it a lot, and I would like to think this was God’s plan all along. I already mentioned how my mom could keep Ryder in the afternoons on days he is sick, so me having an opposite schedule of her was kind of perfect really. There were other signs too that this was meant to be. So in the end, I decided to take the plunge.

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Since I have accepted the job and have had a few weeks to think about my new routine, I have high hopes. It is hard for someone with anxiety to have faith and hope in the future, so maybe I should say I am cautiously optimistic. Maybe this won’t fix everything, maybe we will be back to square one; or just maybe this will be the fulfillment that breathes life back to my tired body.  I plan to take Ryder to daycare everyday and pick him up (something I rarely had the opportunity to do while working full-time). I plan to work out everyday (something I haven’t done in over 2 years). I plan to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner (something I haven’t done in so long I can’t remember when the last time was). I plan to join a MOPS group (something I have always wanted to do but never could). I plan to join a women’s marketing group (because let’s face it I have a lot to learn). We have also found a new church and look forward to getting connected in a small-group we were invited to. I even acknowledge that I may already be overloading my plate again, but I am intentionally looking for activities that will help me be the person I want to be again.

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I realize now that for so long I have just been treading water trying to stay afloat. I was not being intentional about anything. It does scare me that I could waste away my extra 4 hours a day, but as I said I am hopeful that I will find a new groove. I am excited to be the wife and mommy my family needs while still maintaining an identity outside of the home. I promise to report back to you all and let you know how things are going. I mean ideally this would open a lot more time for ye old blog too!

Finally, I just want to reiterate that I applaud all the mommas out there. I know there are so many who can make it work with full-time jobs, or who don’t have the means to do anything but. Maybe this post provided some reflection to you, though, if you have been having as hard of a time as I was.

Until next time friends.

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March 2016

Moving on to March! Spring was in the very cold air!

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In March we started playing outside a lot more, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and went to a few birthday parties (Ryder’s favorite pastime)! Ryder was 26 pounds in March and 36 inches! He had lost a couple of pounds after his tonsillectomy, but we started giving him Pediasure and he caught back up fast! He was wearing 18-24 month pants, 24 month pjs, and 24 month shirts. His shorts were still 12-18 month because of his itty bitty waist!

Ryder is ALL boy and started collecting rocks in his bucket one day outside. He also loves to run around like crazy. He looks soooo much older in these pictures to me!

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We had several Easter egg hunts this year, and it was fun to see Ryder get into them. We did one at Tech the weekend before, and it was COLD! It was also really crowded so we tried to be fast. We learned to hide the candy from Ryder because he would eat all of it after this first hunt. His favorites were the “si-rolls” aka Tootsie Rolls. He also had a hunt at school. On Easter Sunday, Ryder had an egg hunt at the church then we had lunch with my mom and brother at the Tech Club. There was also a little hunt there! The Easter Bunny came to visit us during lunch, and Ryder was NOT having it. I think he is scarred for life by Santa so now he won’t do anyone in costume. Even now in June, he is on the lookout for the Easter Bunny at the mall! After lunch we went to see my dad who wasn’t feeling well, and Ryder played a round of golf! Next we headed to Chad’s aunt’s house and Ryder did his final egg hunt. He was a pro by the end of it! He did still get a little distracted trying to open one egg before he found another. I decided to put things like cars and balls in some of them so they wouldn’t ALL be candy!

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For his Easter basket this year we got Ryder a new dump truck, a Pluto to go with all of his Mickeys, and a coloring book. Chad’s parents got him an elephant that sings “Do Your Ears Hang Low”. My parents got him a little lawn mower popper. The cute little bunny cookie is from The Cookie Box. He is obsessed with both the dump truck and lawn mower. He already had a big dump truck he pushed around in the backyard, but Chad found this one that is heavier and more sturdy.

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Kate was hilarious at her birthday party this year. She wanted Ryder to sit by her, not her other little friends. Ryder was oblivious, but it was funny when she asked her friend to move so Ryder could sit there. He had a great time in the play area and with a basketball. He just kept getting knocked down by the bigger kids. One day you’ll be running around with the big kids too buddy…. Luke’s birthday was at a bounce house, and Ryder couldn’t get enough! He didn’t nap that day, but that didn’t slow him down. I had to drag him out of there kicking and screaming.

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Ryder’s other new favorite “game” is to dump all of his “a-mals” in his floor and play on them. He has also dragged them all to the living room or our bed. He has even been known to do it in the aisles of toys r us!

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We took a few more trips to the Science Spectrum this month, and introduced our friend Luke to the fun too!

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Ryder also helped me do some fundraising for the March of Dimes in March. I mean who could say no to that adorable face! Even though it took about 20 outtakes to get one decent picture with the chalkboard each time! I also had to re-write and re-draw everything in between takes since he liked to erase it all. (;-P)

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Other developments in March were that Ryder started asking to sit on the potty. He still hasn’t used it, but I am not in any rush. He will get there when he is ready. He tends to like to sit on it right before bath time. He also figured out he loves the little mini baskets at United and helps us “shop”. He does pretty good, but you have to watch your ankles. Ryder started counting to 10 during March and would say “goodbye”. He also started naming all of the Mickey Mouse characters.

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For a chuckle or two, here are videos of Ryder when he was supposed to be sleeping!

And I will leave you with his St. Patrick’s Day smiles along with our other favorites from the month.

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Up next: April, May, June and a sponsored post! T-minus 6 days until our trip.

Until next time friends!

February 2016

Wow! I don’t even know where to start since I am soooo far behind! We have had the fun, not so fun, and busy every day life since the last time I posted. I am going to try to get caught up before July because we have a BIG trip coming up that I know you will want to read about 😉

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So February was the month of Ryder’s tonsillectomy, but we book-ended the month with 2 fun trips!

Our first trip in February was to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. It was the trip we had scheduled for Ryder’s birthday, but we had to postpone it. Ryder did great in the car, even with a delay after we were rear-ended by someone who fell asleep at the wheel. Fortunately, no one was hurt and we were able to continue on with the weekend. We rushed to get changed into our suits the first night there, and unfortunately the water was pretty cold! Ryder wasn’t having it. He actually did not love the water park like we thought he would, and we didn’t spend much time in there. The resort itself was great for kids, though! The room was super cute! He loved the arcade and free ice cream (for his birthday). They also had cute little dance parties. We spent a lot of this trip trying to get Ryder to howl like the wolves that would howl throughout the hotel (see video below). We went to the Legoland that was close by after his nap on Saturday, and he did love that! He was just frustrated that he wasn’t tall enough to do all of the rides/play areas. We will have to go back when he is taller. We did the water park again on Sunday, then we stopped at the aquarium on our way out of town. He also loved that! He did so good on this trip! We will definitely try Great Wolf again. Hopefully the water is warmer and Ryder has a blast next time!

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When we came back we just had a few days before Ryder’s surgery. First up was my birthday and the March for Babies Kick-Off Luncheon. I had to give a speech to the room, then to my surprise they sang “Happy Birthday” to me! Ryder was not feeling well that day, so we were glad we had the surgery scheduled.

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Ryder had his tonsillectomy on Friday, February 12th. The surgery went well, and the ENT actually told us that Ryder’s tonsils fell apart as he was taking them out because they were so full of pus and rotten! I am SO glad we got them out as was the ENT! Ryder did great in recovery. He was still doped up on pain meds so he was having a ball eating popsicles and watching Mickey. He actually did great the first 24 hours or so, then the pain and swelling set in. It was ROUGH! He was a trooper, and still managed to smile most days, but man he felt terrible. We had to hold him down to force his meds down him. I also used every bribe in the book to get him to eat and drink… See his buffet of jello and pudding below. It was kind of funny that the only thing he would drink was green tea out of a straw (which is not recommended after this surgery, but they said it was fine to use a straw if that was the only way he would drink). My sweet brother brought him some ice cream on Valentine’s day, but he wasn’t feeling it. He also got lots of stuffed animals and balloons! We spent a lot of time coloring and watching Mickey that first week. About a week after surgery we had to take him to the ER because he spiked a temp and our instructions said we should go in if it was over a certain degree. Anyways, after some tylenol and motrin, they sent us home like we were crazy, over-reacting parents. #bettersafethansorry.  Ryder got to have a fun lunch date at Momma’s office in the latter part of his recovery. Then, as everyone had said, exactly 2 weeks after surgery Ryder was back to normal. It just clicked. All of a sudden he was eating and drinking again! I will say we had to keep him out of daycare for the full 2 weeks. He just didn’t have the energy even that second week. Our ENT doesn’t like to do the surgery on kids under 3 yrs/30 lbs, but I am so glad we have it out of the way. I also know Ryder has to feel a lot better without all that puss and infection all the time.

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To celebrate Ryder’s recovery, we took off on another road trip! We headed to Chad’s Aunt’s place in Ruidoso for the weekend. I had high hopes of snow tubing, but it was 70 degrees that day! They still had the man made chutes open, but Ryder hated it at first! It took quite a bit of convincing, then he had a ball! He kept saying “again”. It was kind of nice that it was warm while we were playing, but there was a LOT of slush and mud. For dinner that night we ate a new fancy place, and when we arrived there was this sign on the door (see below). I was terrified! Much to my surprise, Ryder was an ANGEL! He only made a peep as we were leaving. Another table even complimented his behavior! Score 1 for the two year old! We had breakfast both days at the Cornerstone Bakery, our favorite. They give the kiddos dough to play with, though, Ryder ate most of his! After breakfast we just did a little shopping before getting on the road to head back home.

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Some of Ryder’s new skills this month were: he would recognize the football stadium and say “ball” and “Steve” every time we drove by; he started to recognize his colors; he tried to brush his teeth by himself; he called himself “baby Ryder” in his pictures on our phones; said “happy birthday” and liked to blow out candles; he said “Tech” or “Go Tech” when he saw a Double T (#proudmomma)! He also “helped” us vote! And since we missed celebrating Valentine’s with his recovery, here are a few bonus pictures of how we celebrated at school and work 😉

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Next up March, April, May, June and a sponsored post! Ha! I better get busy!

 

Until next time friends.