Friday, March 6, 2015

Lava Splash Pad

With the extra cold temperatures we had at the end of December, we started going a little stir crazy sitting in the house day after day. It was just way to cold to even go outside and play in the snow. I had heard about the Splash Pad in Lava Hot Springs, but we've never taken Ryker there so we made a date out of it.

I'm so glad we went! If you haven't gone, do! You will not to sorry. He was stand offish at first, but warmed up pretty quickly. He wanted to follow kids around and splash around the toys. Once he found the slide, that is where we stayed. He wanted so badly to be like the big kids and go up the stairs, but he isn't big enough just yet for that, he had to settle for mom and dad putting him on the slide the easy way. 

He looks terrified, but this is mid squeal of joy!

He is such a little fish. I honestly don't know where he gets it. Scott and I aren't water people in any sense of the word. Scott handles it better than I do, but I appreciate the ground far more than the water. I think I'm going to look into swimming lessons for Ryk this summer because he seriously loves the water. I am so glad he isn't afraid of it naturally.

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve was spent in American Falls with my dad, Terri, and Grandma Honey. They cooked us a fantastic meal and we hung out there for while. Ryker took a while to warm up to Great Grammy Honey, but after she started giving him treats he was happy to sit on her lap. 

We had fun chatting, eating and watching Ryk put on a show, what he does best really...

Merry Christmas from the Nelsons
After we picked up Grandma from Poky
Special Christmas Eve jammies he got with his Polar Express book

Christmas 2014

Our Christmas was so busy. So, so busy. But really great! We spent Christmas morning at our house, with my mom. She spent the night so she could be there when we opened gifts, that's what we actually requested of everyone, but she was the only one willing this year. 

We hung out in Blackfoot waiting for the storm to pass Christmas morning, in part because of the weather and because it took us at least four hours to open gifts (I'm not even kidding). Ryker may have been a little spoiled this year.. :) The look on his face as he walked down the hallway from his bedroom was priceless. By far the greatest thing I've witnessed. In some of the pictures (toward the bottom) you'll see he went directly for his Cozy Truck. That was by far the winningest gift this year. Even now, 3 months later, he is still in love. Christmas morning he got in it and immediately started going, "vrrrooom!" It was pretty funny.

 Right before Christmas he went through a major growth spell, so I bought him a ton of clothes for winter. I didn't realize how crazy I went until I started unwrapping box after box full of clothes. He was a big helper throughout the morning unwrapping and throwing away paper as the rest of us unwrapped stuff. He would want his things pulled out of the boxes so he could play with them more than he wanted to continue to open stuff up. 

His dad got a big present this year too, a Rzr, and Ryker is obsessed with it! Scott went out to plow the driveway and Ryk wanted to be outside with him, I got him ready - a gift this year was a snow outfit and snow boots - and he got to hang out in the Rzr while dad plowed. To get him off of it was like pulling teeth! 

 We had agreed to have Christmas dinner in McCammon, but I was questioning whether or not we should drive on the bad roads. We did end up going, but not till about 1-2 in the afternoon. We got to the Nelsons' and again we were completely spoiled. I didn't think we were going to get it all in the car with the four of us and two dogs. I told my mom we were going to have to tie her to the roof of the Tahoe like the National Lampoon movie. After we left McCammon, we dropped my mom off at her house and we finally headed home. 

The pictures loaded from last to first, but you get the idea. Three sets of Grandparents later, three car loads stuffed to the gills, and a few hundred miles logged... The first picture is what my living room looked like after Christmas. 

We had such a great Christmas. I don't think I had been this excited for the holiday since I was a child. Getting everything ready for Ryker was such a blast. I can't wait till he gets older and we can teach him what the Christmas season is really about. We are so lucky we have loving families who love us as much as we love them. I really was not crazy about all the driving we had to do, next year we will not be doing any, but I'm thankful we had an opportunity to spend time with each family individually. 

I know I'm way late, but I hope every one of you had a magical Christmas just like we did!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Where to Start?

I always tell myself I'm going to be better about documenting this crazy thing called life, and somehow I end up failing miserably. I can't believe it has been 4 months since I have done any updating whatsoever. I've got a ton to catch up on. I'll start from the present and work my way backwards, how's that?

Scott: He was invited to go to a Gencore Schooling in Orlando, Florida for a week. Encore is the name of a company that makes plant parts, JBP bought a plant from them within the last 5 years and part of the agreement is the company gets to send X amount of employees to this 6-day training event. I begged and begged to go.. But, here I am, sitting in a frigid 28* Idaho while Scott is basking in 80*+ weather. Lucky him, right?! As upset as I am we weren't able to tag along, I am really proud of Scott and all of him accomplishments. Not everyone gets to go, it's reserved for the upper management, and Scott's been invited twice. It speaks volumes to his accomplishments for the company in the 10 years he's worked there, 11 in June. Not bad for a 28 year old punk :)

Ryker: Can you believe he is 18 months old as of last week? I cannot believe how quickly time moves. He is the light of my entire life. I don't even know where to start with him; he's wild, crazy, sweet, cuddly, mean (at times), hilarious, so smart... I could go on and on. Ryker has recently shown a strong interest in using the big kid potty. Because I am one of "those" moms, I did some research on children's potty seats and the inserts for a regular toilet. I decided I wanted to start right off with the inserts and forgo the little chairs. While I understand the ease of portability, the idea of cleaning it up every.single.time disgusts me. I don't know how much truth there is it it, but I've heard some mothers have had to retrain their kids to use a regular toilet. I don't want to deal with all that extra headache. For the last few months, every time we've gotten him ready for a bath we put him on the toilet (before we had an insert) and he pooped multiple times while on it. That gave Scott and I a hint he was showing some interest and at least knew what to do while on it. We'll see how it goes, I'm not expecting any miracles, but at least we are getting him familiar with it. I think it's a pretty big step!

We try to involve him in nearly everything we do; chores, cooking, laundry, outside stuff, etc.. His favorite chores are being the dog poop spotter when we are in the yard. He will walk around while mom/dad is in tow with the shovel and he'll yell "MORE!" It really is funny. He also like to help with the garbages, he'll grab the two little ones from our bathrooms and take them to the bigger one to be dumped and once they are empty he'll take them back to where they belong. He has watched me enough times to know that when mom piles laundry on the floor, that means the piles go to the laundry room. So he will grab as much stuff as his little arms can hold and walk it across the house to drop it in the middle of the laundry room. I don't know what it is, but it makes my heart sing. He is also a fan of pulling all the lint off the screen and putting it in the trash. Speaking of laundry, when I'm moving stuff from the wash to the dryer he will hand me things, and he's especially good at handing me things out of the dryer to be folded. He loved to help feed the dogs, he'll hand their bowls over to me and watch me fill them, then he gets to set Diesel's down in his spot. He claps when he's done, he knows he's doing good. Every once in a while, if we don't watch him close enough, he'll grab a kibble or two and eat them... Weird kid. Ha. When I pull out my Kitchen Aid mixer, he comes running, turning it on and watching whatever is in the bowl mix is so fascinating to him. Overall he is such a big helper. He loves to help me vacuum and brush my teeth - yet he doesn't want to brush his very well.

Right now he is obsessing over books and vroom vrooms (cars, trucks, 4-wheelers, Rzr, etc). He has his favorite books that must be read 20 times over or a fit will ensue. In the evenings he will gather up all of his trucks, cars, motorcycles, etc and throw them into the middle of the living room floor, which signals Scott and I to get off the couch and get on the floor to play with him. He will drive them up over our heads, down the dogs, over the couches.. It's too funny. All while making the "vrrroooom" noise. Sometimes he'll do it so forcefully that it will tickle his lips - he'll stop, rub them, and then start giggling. He's such a character.

Not everything with Ryker Kay is rainbows and sunshine however. He boy can throw a mega fit and has an attitude way too big for him. I blame myself for those attributes. He is very good at communicating what he wants. We are trying to figure out his vocabulary as new words come out everyday, but if you don't understand him on the second try you had better watch out. He likes to do the stiff body, back arch, head throw, melt to the ground in complete chaos type of thing. It is something else. He has this high pitch wail that will honestly make our black Lab howl like you wouldn't believe. So not only do I have a toddler who is throwing a fit of epic proportions, I also have a dog who chimes in too. The last few fits, I think our red Lab gets so sick of listening to it, he will start to howl as well. Excuse me, but it's a real shit show. I feel like I live in a circus some days.

He is the worst teether I've even known. I can always tell when they are bothering him because he doesn't eat, he doesn't sleep, he doesn't want a single thing and nothing will make it better. Last week,  the week of the 16th, he was cutting 5 freaking teeth. It would have been 6, but I think God knew I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and 1 finally broke through. I feel so awful and I try so hard to be patient with him, but the consent screaming really wears you down day after day. Luckily, this week seems to be better, only because 4 of the teeth have decided to drop and 1 broke though. So I'm sure next week will be another tough one.

Maren: I'm just doing my usual thing; working and being a mom. I go, go, go from 6am-10pm. If I'm not working at the office, I'm working at home. Someone needs me every second I am home it seems like. I started noticing an overall shift in my moods toward the end of December. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact I had taken two weeks of vacation for the holiday to do nothing but eat, drink, and be merry with my family. By the time I came out of that rut, I noticed I had gained a little weight. I am nowhere near over weight or unhealthy, but for me, I couldn't handle it. So I made a plan that as soon as the Get-Fit Passport (for those that aren't familiar, it's a program put on by the Wellness Center at ISU. They offer a number of different classes, three times during the day. For one set fee, you can go and much or as little as you want) was available to purchase, I was going to buy one and get myself in gear. Considering the most strenuous thing I'd done for a really long time, minus the 5K I did in July, was give birth, I decided I was going to start out with yoga and get some good stretching in. I have no excuse to not exercise when I work in the gym, so I use my lunch hour to work out. It's been much easier than getting up even earlier than I already do and finding time in the evening is just not going to happen.

I am so glad I chose yoga. I was unsure at first, it's not something I've have an interest in in the past and was a little big skeptical of the benefits. I notice a real difference in my muscles and I'm able to bend in ways I was able to when I danced. After about 2 weeks of that, I moved on to Zumba, barbell, boot camp (it's like interval training) and yoga again to close the week off. I would like to move up to 5-days a week, but right now it's mainly 4. Between meetings and just not being in the mood, I make it to 4 faithfully. My goal for the moth of March is to finally go 5-days. In my barbell class, last Wednesday, I actually added more weight and I'm so proud! My upper body strength is junk, but I can see such a difference. My favorite thing is the definition in my arms - it makes me feel strong.

Beyond the exercising and feeling good that way, I've noticed a substantial difference in my moods and I sleep so so much better at night - well, when Ryker allows. I've also noticed I am trying to make better decisions food wise. I love cookies, all cookies I don't discriminate. That's been my biggest struggle and I'm learning the term "in moderation". I'm excited to see the results at the end of the 16 week semester.

I'm going to be starting up school again in the summer. I should have registered for a class for the Spring semester, but for whatever reason, I just couldn't get motivated. Again, I think I was in a slump and that could have very well contributed to the lack of motivation I was feeling for anything. I'm ready to start strong and get this Master degree out of the way.

I think that about wraps it up for what's happening at the Nelson house. I will follow up with some pictures and a blog posts about the holidays, mine and Scott's first ever childless date in 18 months, and some other fun things we've been doing.

I hope all is well!
Until next time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Swore Farms

I'm sure the majority of you are familiar with Swore farms. It's North, in-between Chubbuck and Fort Hall a few miles. Marianne and I took our clan of boys out this last Saturday, October 18th and we had a blast! I think the most exciting thing for the boys was riding on the tractor. They were both angels on the way out to the patch and back to the farm. They sat and watched the tractors every move. We had the boys pick out a few small pumpkins while we walked the field. Mainly we got off so the boys could get in the dirt and run around. I was worried Ryker wouldn't be feeling up to it, but Saturday morning he was back to his regular self and I felt good about taking him and getting some fresh air. Glad we went because the weather was perfect and we went early enough to avoid major crowds. We are also making this a yearly tradition as well! 

Giving his bud a best friend hug!

Best friends :)

Conor (3), Marianne, Owen (2 months), Me, Ryker (14 months)

Cutest spud in Idaho is right!

Here's Ryker, showing off all his pumpkin loot from the last two weekends!

The Golden Pumpkin Patch

If you guys are in Pocatello, go visit The Golden Pumpkin Patch on Hawthorne Rd, corner of Quinn Rd.! It is so much fun and they are very reasonable on prices! We took Ryker last year when he was about 8 weeks old with my mom, Marianne and Conor. This year, we went with Shirley and Sadie on Saturday, October 11th. We may have picked a few too many pumpkins, but we couldn't resist. They have traditional orange ones, pink ones, grey, orange/green, white ones, little ones, huge ones, warty ones... The list goes on and on! They have a page on Facebook if you're interested in them! 

Using his muscles to push the cart :) 

I picked the cutest pumpkin in the patch!