Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seven Months Old!

I think this past month went even faster than any of the others!! Ryder is growing and hitting mile stone after mile stone! I think I'm ready for him to slow down a bit and just stay at this stage before we hit anymore major mile stones! I'm just not ready for him to grow up so fast, and honestly, I am loving this stage where his little personality is just beginning to develop, and he's not fully mobile yet!
 
 
Last month, we had just started trying solid foods, but now we are seasoned pros at eating! Ryder loves veggies! So far he's had sweet potatoes, squash, carrotts, peas, green beans, and broccolli and has gobbled them all up! Fruits, on the other hand, are not really his thing. He eats them (because I make him), but he doesn't seem to like their tangier flavor. He cried when he ate bananas, stuck out his tongue at apples, and cringed with pears. I'm just glad he likes his vegetables, and at least tolerates the fruits, which I'm sure he'll warm up to over time!


Ryder also started sitting up briefly last month but has truly mastered this talent now! He is also working on learning to crawl, but we're pretty sure he's going to skip the crawling and head straight for walking because he's too impatient and curious to bother with being stuck on his hands and knees on the floor. He definitely prefers to be standing so that he can see everything, which isn't a new thing for my curious little man, who used to cry when I made him lie on his back or tummy so he would learn to roll! He's already beginning to stand without anyone holding him for a few seconds at a time as long as he's not overly excited and flapping his arms. And he has finally learned to jump in his jumperoo! Check out my earlier post with a vidoe of him jumping (http://thehardenhousehold.blogspot.com/2012/03/jump-jump-jump-around.html) I don't think it will be much longer before he's totally mobile, and then we're in major trouble with this active and inquisitive little guy!


Other major happenings for this month include Ryder's first tooth popping through the day before he turned 7 months old, and Ryder learning to say, "Mamama" and "bahbahbahbah" while chewing on his lower lip. I was thrilled to see (well, really feel) that first tooth come through! I had thought at one point that it would be such a sad moment because it would mark the end of all those gummy, little smiles, but after three months of teething, I couldn't be happier for Ryder!! Here's hoping we will now sleep better, fuss a little less, and chew on fewer items, including but not limited to mom's shoulder, daddy's toes, Nana's rocking chair, Ryder's crib slats, washcloths, TV remotes, and of course the occassional teething ring! :)


The first time I heard Ryder say "mama" was one morning around 4 a.m. while I was trying to ignore his fussing and praying he would go back to sleep (I know, "mean mommy!"). But the minute I heard him cry "mama," I immediately felt obligated to go pick him up and rock him (amazing how that works!!). I know he doesn't know what it means, but it is a joy to my heart to hear him say my name, and I can't wait until he learns to say it when actually calling for me!

My other favorite new habit is Ryder sucking/chewing on his lower lip! He already has chunky, little cheeks to begin with, but when that bottom lip is tucked in, those cheeks puff out even further, and he looks absolutely adorable! He also smacks his lips and thinks it's the funniest thing if you smack your lips in response to him! He still growls and blows rspberries, but he has also added a high pitched squeak that sounds very similar to an eagle's call. We're enjoying listening to all the sounds Ryder is learning to make, especially his laugh!
He's such a happy baby. He laughs and giggles often, especially when being tickled. Sometimes the strangest things make him laugh too, like when he tries to take the newspaper out of our hands and we pull it away, which results in hysterical giggles. He also laughs when you toss a ball up in the air in front of him or if you say peek-a-boo! But the thing that makes him smile without fail is when I sing, "I Feel Good!" to him and dance with him. I sang it one day when he was about 3 months old and fussy from the acid reflux and for whatever reason his face lit up and he stopped crying, and it's worked like a charm ever since to cheer up a fussy, little Ryder-man!


We have had another fun month with our precious baby boy who is quickly working his way out of being a baby and into a big boy! It's so amazing to see him growing and learning so many new things! Ryder is truly a joy and has added so much happiness to our home!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Jump, Jump, Jump Around!!

Ryder has learned how to jump in his Jumperoo and loves it!! :)


video


Monday, March 19, 2012

Friends for a Lifetime

I have been so blessed to have a group of friends that I've kept since middle school and some even from elementary school, and while we've had our ups and downs, graduations, weddings, babies, moves across the country, etc. we have remained friends over the years, and I'm so thankful for these special women!! This past Saturday we got to get together again to celebrate Kristin's second baby. It was such a special thing to be together again!

Emily Atkins, me, Ryder, Hannah Reitz, Kristin McQuiddy (Levi), Rebekah Hellkamp, Heidi, and Ashley Apjok 2012

So many memories and so many miles
the road that stretches behind us
We've had some laughter and our share of tears
But all these moments unite us
Kristin, me, Ashley, Rebekah, Emily, and Hannah - NC Zoo Field Trip 1997
I'll be your friend for a lifetime
Against the wind and the rain of every season
Won't walk away in the hard times
I will be your friend
I'm saying I will be your friend
Emily, Rebekah, Sarah, me, Hannah, Kristin, and Ashley - D.C. Field Trip 1999
Sure as the river runs to the sea
High as the mountain that reaches
You were there by my side till the end
(and) helped me on my feet again
Kristin, me, Emily, Hannah, Ashley, Rebekah, and Sveta - Sprit Week 2000
I'll be your friend for a lifetime
Against the wind and the rain of every season
Won't walk away in the hard times
I will be your friend
I'm saying I will be your friend
Senior Year 2002
So in the valley walk on
Don't have to face it alone
Cause in the hard times
We keep growing strong
As we learn, as we live
That we live when we give
Lisa, Sarah, Ashley, me, Hannah, Emily, and Rebekah - My Wedding 2007
I'll be your friend for a lifetime
Against the wind and the rain of every season
Won't walk away in the hard times
I will be your friend
I'm saying I will be your friend
Hannah, Ashley, Maggie, Martha, Kristin (Haley), Rebekah, Titus, Emily, and me - Kristin's 1st Baby Shower 2009
*Please don't hate me for posting these! I couldn't resist!! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Father's Love

One of my favorite things about becoming a parent is watching Tyler become a daddy! He's a natural! He and Ryder share such a special bond between one another, and it makes my heart melt each time I watch them together. I've heard some women say that they'd never found their husband more attractive than when they saw their husband's playing with their children. I thought it was interesting but didn't truly understand what they meant until now. I have always loved Tyler, but now that he is the father of our child, I love him even more! I love to watch the way they play together and laugh at one another, it's such a joy to see them spending time together. Tyler's such a good daddy, and Ryder loves Tyler so much. His face breaks into a huge smile every day when Tyler comes in from work. It's such a neat thing to see. Last week we were in an accident, and Tyler's first thought was Ryder's safety. Rather than getting out of the car and checking the damage at the back of the car, Tyler's first reaction was to check on Ryder. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Tyler would lay down his life to protect Ryder, and that love is so amazing!



What's even more amazing is that each time I watch Tyler and Ryder interact, I think of another Father's love. As much as Tyler and I love Ryder (which is a whole bunch!!), God loves him even more. When we talk about how we made this sweet boy, I remember that God actually knit him together in my womb. I love that God has a purpose and plan for his life already, and that God delights in Ryder like Tyler and I take delight in him. I'm so thankful that Ryder has the example of his own father's love to help him one day know and understand God's love for him as his Heavenly Father. Daddy's are so incredibly important in a child's life, and Ryder is so blessed to have a wonderful daddy like Tyler who loves him so much!




"How deep the Father's love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure. Why should I gain from His reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know with all my heart, His wounds have paid my ransom!"