Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!!

This has been, by far, the best Christmas. For one, Rob and I have an adorable one year old that is seeing things for the first time: lights, trees, ornaments, and SANTA! Everything took on a whole new meaning last year, but its even better this year. I think a big part is that Rylan isn't a month-old itty bitty that I stuck in reindeer outfits and placed under the tree. Another reason is that we simplified Christmas majorly this year. We chose names on Rob's side of the family and played Dirty Santa on my side, so only four presents there. Rob and I have backed down on the loot we give each other significantly.

We didn't, however cut our spending on Rylan. Ooops. We tried. We failed. We'll do better. He got a wagon (like, a super dee-duper, Tim the Toolman Taylor souped up Red Rider Wagon) and a Scout dog that can be programed to say his name, play music and talk to him about his favorite foods and animals and colors. And he got books. And some clothes. And pj's. And a Dance Baby Dance CD. And some fruit bars. That was just from Rob and I. Once again, oops.

We went to my parents for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Rylan helped his Aunt Tam frost cookies along with Zoe and Anthony. Everyone was busy and nobody noticed that Zoe had dumped almost a whole container of candy Santa's on her cookie and there was a white mound on top of her frosting. She picked it up, Santa's falling off and says "I eat this now." By the time I snapped a shot, most of the santas had met a certain end.


Rylan made out like a bandit, scoring a guitar that plays cool songs like "Loveshack" and "Allstar," bath toys, clothes, a four wheeled scooter, and many other cool toys. The adults played Dirty Santa. I feel awful to this day, but I stole Tammy's gift. I've been wanting one of the those wallets forever and can't talk myself into it. I hope she enjoys the jewelry, movie, and slippers she got.
One of Anthony's presents, a Toy Story tent for his bed
The cousins in their Christmas getups. Ry showing a little belly.
My Christmas bumpkin

Rob scored a book about the 500 things you must eat before you die. Totally up our ally. We paged through it the other night, and you'll be glad to know that Rob only has 498 things to eat before he dies. He has already tasted a Cotham's burger and McClard's here in Arkansas. Is it wrong that we were mind planning trips around certain eateries?

After some presents, some yummy dinner, the ones that were still awake trekked to Midnight Mass (which in a retirement community of Mtn. Home, is actually at 11pm). It had beautiful music and made the Christmas feeling really set in, but by 1230 we were all starting to fade. We walked out after mass and what do we see???? SNOW. We had a white Christmas!

My mom did an art project and made reindeer shirts for the kids using their feet
for reindeer faces and their hands for the antlers. I'm hoping my sisters of parents
got a better shot of the the three showing off their shirts.

"Thanks for this awesome box Grammy and Papa!!!!" He has no idea their is better stuff inside. Just did flips on the box for about 30 minutes.

After a relaxing Christmas Day, including games, more food, and a movie DATE for Rob and I, we came home via Batesville, so we could have a nice meal (because we are thin and needed more food) with Rob's parents. Rylan got more toys, including some Bristle Blocks that were a favorite of Rob's in his youth. My mother in law had my name, and guess what I got???? A gift card to Michaels!!! AKA home of scrapbooking paraphernalia!!!!!




Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twas the week before Christmas

My previous New Years post has gone, but will return, tales of resolutions will come later. I got ahead of myself looking forward to the new year. Rob and Sara Plus 1 have been some busy, picture snapping folks over the last few weeks. This kind of fun must be documented. Prior to New Years.

Big news!!! Milestone HIT! Rylan is sleeping through the night. Hallelujah!!!!! It was tough, and I have to admit, that after that night where I posted at 3am, I cried to Rob and asked him to tell me this would be for the better. Those darned experts are right though. Eventually Rylan learned that crying will only get mom or dad in there to lay them back down and get a pat on the back or two and a blanket put on. He has gone down at 8pm on the dot with 5 minutes of less of fuss for almost two weeks (minus Christmas). He has also slept through the night until at LEAST 6am 11 days out of those two weeks. One time he even slept until 8am. I didn't know what to do with myself. Now, he's napping better too. He's up for a few hours, back down for a nap, then takes another long one later in the afternoon. Its like he figured out that sleeping IS fun and he wants more of it. For now, I don't have to tell him the old "when you're my age you'll WISH for a nap." So, goal one of staying at home from work has been checked off the list.

The weekend before Christmas was action packed. We headed to Chick Fil A for breakfast with Santa Cow. Rylan was the first kid to actually go to Santa Cow. He is about 6 1/2 feet tall and a COW after all. But, Rylan seemed unfazed. Didn't know what all the fuss was about. Doesn't everyone sit on a cow's lap everyday???

Then, after breakfast with Santa Cow, we had some time to kill so we went by the zoo. Rob got me Family passes for my birthday, so Rylan and I go to the zoo once a week or so. Its nice, because it feels free, and somedays we only stay 20 minutes if Rylan isn't in the mood, or somedays I treat it like my exercise for the day and we walk and walk and walk. But, we've never had the pleasure of Rob's company. It was super special. Someone to talk to and show stuff. Someone to help take pics and get excited with. I have found with staying at home, that there are very few people to talk to. And if your son is in the stroller and you are talking to him, people think you are talking to yourself. So, any opportunity to have someone to stand side by side with is awesome. It was a LITTLE chilly (really chilly) so some of the animals stayed in their warm beds, but we still had a great time.



The lower giraffe was totally lookin for lovin.


The animals had just gotten gifts from Santa

As if that weren't enough for one day, we went to Rylan's friend Jaeden's birthday party. e were invited to a birthday party for Rylan's friend Jaeden. Jaeden is the son of John and Gina, the couple that, in a way, got Rob and I together back in the day. John was playing at a bar and I recognized him from high school. He pointed at a table and commented that all the people at the table were also from high school. I pointed at Rob Qualls and said "I remember you" (there might have been beer fueling that comment) in a very unladylike fashion. A few John and Gina maneuvers later and Rob and I were on our first date. Fast forward 5 1/2 years and John and Gina's son is 3 and they have another one set to come any minute.

So, we ate lunch and had cake at Jaeden's house, then headed to the very scary during Christmastime----Chuck E. Cheez. Jaeden had a blast and Rob and I played enough skeeball to win Rylan a ball to play with. Which is a pretty cool gift if you are going by Chuck E. Cheez standards, usually for 400 tickets you get 3 straws and a glow in the dark spider.
Overwhelmed by the Chuck E. Madness
Tired Baby

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!!

Love this season. Love it, love it love it. Makes me want to go buy stuff! Then you go to the store and the people there make you want to go back home and enjoy your Christmas MP3 mix and sweet baby and pretty Christmas tree. How do you spell Ba Hum Bug?? Those people should be the ones staying home this year.

You see, Rob and I live about 25 minutes, in good traffic, away from the nearest store. So, to go buy anything, you are already committing to an hour in the car. Then add putting bundled baby in the stroller at every store, probably 3 times, because we Qualls's are more Target than mall shoppers. Then put bundled baby back in carseat three or four times. Its taxing on both of us.

Rob graciously met me this past Tuesday to get Rylan so that I could do all of our Christmas shopping in one swoop, not having to drag bundled baby everywhere I go. I love to shop. I do. I'm really cheap is the only problem, so I usually end up taking back most items I buy for myself (example, the previously mention Stay At Home Mom Jogging Suit, its back home at JC Penny). So, I love to shop for Christmas, because I don't feel bad when I buy for others. And I'm pretty good at not buying too much, unless its for Rylan. Just being honest.

So I'm be-bopping all around finding deals, checking off the list, "fa-la-la-laing" with the radio. Then the TARGET LADY appears. I'd seen her through the store with her sour face. Of course she gets behind me in line. Then my card won't work (oops, I washed it) and I go to write a check. The cashier has no pen. She gets freaked out and starts chanting "do you have a pen" to everyone she works with. All the sudden I feel a sharp pain in my arm. I look down at my arm. A pen is being poked into my arm by Sour Face!!!! She says nothing, just has a "how dare you write a check!" look. "Thanks" I say. I am, sadly, slightly passive agressive, so I of course waited until she turned to walk back to her cart to make a bad face behind her back. Then I wrote my check, handed her her pen back and said "Merry Christmas" in my best momma- YOU SHOULD BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR voice.

Last year I dragged Rob, our 4 week old infant, and me four weeks past c-section, past 2 months of bedrest, to walk all over Garvin Woodland Gardens. I was just sooooo ready to get out of the house after 8 weeks bedrest and 4 weeks home on maternity leave. I wanted to show the lit up world to my baby!!!! Except my baby was nestled in his carriage and slept through it. And Garvin Gardens is about a 1.5 mile walk. It was 30 degrees, we had about 28 layers on Rylan, I was limping by the end, and the two new parents were a little bickery.

This year, to bring my little family closer to the Christmas spirit, I dragged us to the Sherwood Enchanted Forrest. I just heard about it this year. When we got there, I really had to laugh at myself. You stay in your heated car and slowly drive along a few mile stretch through a forrest that is lit up beautifully. It was heavenly. We put Rylan in the front on my lap, Britney Spears style and drove extra slow and looks at all the "pretties." Then we went and got delicious peppermint mochas at Starbucks and drove through neighborhoods rating peoples light displays. Totally fun. Now, all I have to do is read Rylan his new book about the REAL meaning of Christmas.
This is Chritmas season Sara
The pictures do no justice, it was glorious
If you have a chance, you should totally go, its free.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I want to cry it out

It is 3:03 am. Rylan is in the next room crying. Nothing wrong, its just that, with every cold, infection or flu, his ability to sleep through the night gets reset. He goes a good stretch, then has a cough due to cold, and has a few nights where he gets extra love and sippee cups and he's back to a 3 month old. Rob and I try to not go in there, but eventually sleep wins. We'd rather fix a temperary problem and get back to our pillow and sheets.

I had 3 goals for my first couple months staying at home.

1. Get Rylan going to bed without being rocked to sleep, sleeping through the night, and sleeping later than 4am without a bottle or sippee cup.

2. Clean out and organize scary master closet

3. Make our two car garage able to actually hold two cars.

Number 1 is proving difficult. Ry was nearly 5 months old before I got strong enough to attempt to let him cry himself back to sleep. At that time it was a pitiful whimper that eventually ended in him sucking his thumb, and we were back to bed. I thought "we've got it!" But, like I said, Rylan has a remarkable ability to play Rob and I like a fiddle and when he has one of his many illnesses, he resets his sleep though the night clock. Except that whimper changed to a bellow, and the thumb sucking is long gone and is now standing at the crib clutching the rails like a jail cell.

We also realized Rylan was good at going to bed because I rock him until he is in near coma state. He needs to be able to go to bed himself. He also get up around 4-5am. It wasn't bad, when I had to report to work at 6:30, so it didn't seem too early. Now that Rob can sleep till 6am because he isn't doing a daycare dropoff, and I don't have a 4:45 am alarm set, it seems REALLY, REALLY early. So we are persevering. And don't worry, we aren't leaving that cute little sack of sugar alone to despair on his unfair world, we go in and make sure he hasn't wet the whole bed (very common event), isn't ill, or spurting any fluid from anywhere. We put him back down , shhhhhhh, pat back, "night night", shhhhhhhh. Then leave the room. Then the fun starts. Because I have nothing to do, we actually found a method to our maddness called the Ferber method if anybody out there also has a Sleep Hater.

I am nearly done with number 2. You can at least walk in there, not far because it is a pretty small closet, but there is not one thing on the floor in there. Its a very hard habit to not kick your shoes off and I hear it takes 27 days to break a bad habit. I think I'm on day 15. I still have to move summer stuff to the guest closet and move winter stuff to our closet, but the actually cleaning is done. I have pictures. I'll post them once I take an "after" shot.

Number 3 is not going AWESOME because in order to get number 2 done, I sort of added to the pile of give-away and Ebay items that are stacked in there. But, I will persevere. Because Rob is the one getting up early to go to work first now, I've surrendered the lone garage parking spot to him. I miss it. Must get number 3 done stat.


But, this, this right here makes it all very very very worth it. Lots of sleep equalls happy days. My silly, rosy cheeked little boy loves to sit and wait for Rob to come home. Its getting colder and colder, so I fished this number out of the closet. It was a gift with Rylan's birth from one of the docs I work with. She knitted it for me (so nice) and it stretched to still fit him. He is actually able to crawl around in it. Its so precious, he looks like an Anne Geddies photograph in it.

Its 3:32, we've had silence for almost 20 minutes, I'm hitting the hay. This morning's session? 35 minutes. It was a doozy. It will get better. It will get better.
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ADDENDUM: Its now 8:25am and he's still asleep! Maybe we're onto something!!!! Had to tell someone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rylan and I are loving are (mostly) jobless life. I did go in for a shift last Monday and am on the schedule for next Monday. We have met a wonderful lady named Kristi who has a totally cute baby named Aubrey. Kristi is also a stay-at-home mom (except for real, not the kinda SAHM like me). Her little munchkin is 3 months and some change. Kristi and I are working out a kid swap. I keep her kiddo one day a week for 5 or 6 hours while she has a day to run errands, clean or, most importantly, SLEEP. Every other week I'll go to work for this day. I am working extra hard with Rylan about the word "gentle." It started with the Christmas tree and decorations. "gentle, gentle, gentle" It was a change from the word "no" and I want him to not live in a glass case of "no." I'd rather teach him to be careful. Its going alright. Only alright.

Rylan and I have also joined not one, but TWO mommy and me groups. One is called East End MOPS. East End is the town closest to our neighborhood that we pretend we live in (since if you say you are from Hensley people raise their eyebrows, cause the ACTUAL town of Hensley is a little bit, um, backwoods). Our neighborhood is five miles away, but uses the same postal address. MOPS is Mothers of Preschoolers. I had read about this group but thought I couldn't join because Ry wasn't a preschooler. Well, my pre-mentioned friend Kristi, told me that that is not the case. Everyone with a little kiddo is welcome. And, oh, they are so nice. They have playdates with the kids once a month and another day where they get babysitters and the moms get a playdate, like Bunco, or cookie-making. I went for the cookie-making (of course) and it was so fun. And the sweet Grandma-like lady that took care of Rylan called him a precious angel. Of course we like her. And I'm glad that he still gets to be amongst some kids.

We joined another group called Little Ones, Big Fun. We showed up for a Storytime at Barnes and Noble last Monday and Barnes and Noble decided they didn't want to have Storytime. We did discover that Barnes and Noble has a Thomas the Train table that kids can play with for FREE while their moms sip coffee. Oh, yeah, we are going back. Plus, I met a totally nice lady and we are going to hang out. The mommy and me group headed to Jason's Deli instead of Storytime, but they were all in a heap about the canceled storytime, and my new friend seemed really cool and our kids were loving the train table, so I kinda skimped out on our mommy and me group before I even got to know them. OOOOPS. Will make up for it next time. On the plus side, Rylan has a new friend that kept saying "mommy look! A baby!" Even though Rylan was the same height as him. My little giant baby.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

His shirt says "I'm not sleepy." He lies.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Its the most wonderful time of the year

We got the tree down from the attic

We put it up, lovingly placing all our beautiful ornaments, with some awesome help from Rylan.
Then we tried to take a holiday picture, just Team Qualls.
It didn't go well. Professional pics taken 3 days later
went much better. Look for them in your box very soon.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Accidental freezer cooking day

From the start of my life as a mother, the 4pm-6pm hours are the crap hours of the day, whether I worked or not. I was tired either from working at the hospital or home with Rylan. And I'm usually out of my bag of mom-tricks by then as well. My block-building, dancing to music, let's practice walking, bath giving, book reading skills suddenly are no longer fun or stimulating to Rylan. Rylan is also tired from all of the previous mentioned activities and is now an afternoon Sleep Hater. He would like to sit in my lap and pull my hair and its time for me to cook dinner. Now that Ry is getting mobile and into everything, and I'm home and have an increased urge to eat at home, I've found myself in the midst of dealing with ewwy raw chicken when I hear BONK and "whaaaaaa" and I have to run, wash with antibacterial, then find Rylan under the table crying or something.

So, I'm trying out a little thing I heard about called Freezer Cooking. I actually made it my New Year's goal, but Rylan was a little under the weather yesterday and slept a bunch extra, so I decided to try it out. I did alright.

I made a
-2lb bag of rice and froze it in 2 cup increments
-1lb bag of lentils that I bought eons ago in a random moment of "we are going to be super healthy!"
-5lbs of hamburger meat, which, in case you are wondering, turns into 3.2 lbs after you saute all the fat and water out.
-36 Banana Chocolate Nut muffins (I finally used a zillion BLACK bananas I had frozen)
Yeah, mom, your muffins are real good, put the frackin' camera down

Then we took a meeting with some important peeps. Love the way our cocker spaniel lined up accordingly. She's "special"
Then, after nap 3, we went and played on the porch. Lovely non crap hour

Hopefully, I'll get good at Freezer cooking and be able to do it on one of my Mommy's Day out days, then Crap Hours will be a thing of the past. Instead of cooking, Ry and I will get outside and play, always a Rylan pleaser and good for all. Then, I'll just pop something super easy in the freezer and call it a day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BBB

I'm glutten for punishment. I'm aware. I got up at 3:45am to start getting ready for Black Friday. And I took friends!!!!!!!!! Well, 2 sisters and a Mama. Its not that I had anything in mind exactly that I HAD to buy. I wasn't packing a weapon to shank someone on the way to my 1000inch TV. I just simply wanted to get the shopping done before the latecomers flocked in and made the lines uber long. Plus, I kind of have this baby with what you might call "a sleeping late hater." So, there was a window of time that I had to get the heck out of dodge before the Sleep Hater woke up and needed my attention. Apparently, I need to shop at ungodly hours more often. I get a text at 7:15am from Rob that Ry has just stirred. WHAT? (its currently 6:45am and we've been up for nearly two hours, I think its me he hates).

Anyway, several bags of 1/2 off dresses shirts, the requisite Stay at Home Mom Jogging suit, and a few Christmas present later the four Rohr girls met the well rested husbands and children for some food. Much needed food. We had been standing in lines, trying on gaggles of clothes and trying not to cuss for hours at that point. Two turkey dinners the day before were long, distant memories.

Rob and I decided to make a whole 4 day weekend of Thanksgiving and stayed to visit and relax, since most of our Fayettville trips are a rushed visit, a quick Woo Pig Sooie, and back to LR. We had another nice visit with Rob's sister. No pics, she was still pajamed after her marathon cooking Thanksgiving day. Rylan scored some awesome Brown Bear and Goodnight Moon books. That Brown Bear is about as addictive to him as Baby Einstein. He just loves it. Thanks Sister Staci!

Then, since Rylan and his cousin Zoe have b-days two days apart, I baked some cupcakes so they could have a joint birthday party and give each other their gifts. Red velvet was a real bad idea.

Notice the dog cleaning him



Still not as bad as the green icing event from his actual bday.


THEN, as if our weekend wasn't splended enough, we were invited to Jose's on Dickson to see a friend's band. Jose's allows children. Little children. Little babies (toddlers) that have never been to bars before. In the words of Reece Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama "you have a baby, in a bar." And that is where he was born. The BBB. Best Bar Baby. There are 3 things that Rylan loves in this world that were all combined in one Jose yummy.
1. Mexican food
2. Music
3. People

Here's a video

video