Ryanandnichole’s Blog

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Long time no see August 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 3:54 am

Well, it’s been awhile, I know.  First it was that I was behind..then more behind..then it just got to be a combination of guilt and being overwhelmed on trying to get caught up…so I guess I’ll give it a shot..

Lots of things happened in Florida – I lost my job as did Ryan (you don’t want to really know all the pathetic details behind Ryan no longer working at Hungry Howies because it’ll really get you fired up, so we’ll just leave it simple and say he lost his job).  So, needless to say, we eventually lost everything we worked so hard for.  But…it’s okay.  Losing everything, we decided it was the time and opportunity for us to make the move to Arkansas – something we’d been wanting to do for 2 years.  Before we left, my good buddy Ben turned 2 and he had quite the birthday bash! Unfortunately, it rained so the big blow up jumpy tent didn’t get the 2 year old masses bombarding it like it would have.  The theme of Ben’s birthday bash was race cars and the highlight of it was this quite impressive race track for hotwheels that Jake had built.  I must admit, I soooo didn’t peg Jake to be a carpenter!

cammie trying to collect the cars that come racing down the impressively built race track

everybody singing to the birthday boy!

if you look closely, you can see the top of Ben's head as he's trying to steal himself a cupcake!

yummy yummy cake!

OREOS!!!!

Are they trying to escape?

One of the best parts of the birthday party? Hearing Ben say, ” I love you crazy Aunt Nichole!”. 

So, not long after Ben’s birthday party we had to pack up the house for the big move..

cammie finding a tupperware to sit in and "collect" magazines!

getting in some last minute beach time before the big move

cammie kicked back with a good book!

Well, the big move was approaching.  I was so busy and so stressed on getting everything packed up and tying up loose ends that I didn’t really have time to think about how sad it all was and how hard it was going to be to say goodbye.  My neighbor across the street, Gary, had become a best friend to me over the years.  He was fighting a losing battle with cancer and it was going to be very hard to say goodbye to him.  I didn’t know then that it would be the last time for me to see him.  I flew back to Florida to take care of some business with the house, and before I could see him, that very day, he passed away.  He was so good to me and my family and I so wish that I could have seen him, talked to him, hugged him and sat on his front porch with him, just one more time.  He’s at home now and free of the pain and for that, I am happy…

The move to Arkansas wasn’t a very smooth one.  I got a speeding ticket (trying to keep up with Ryan and Frank – thanks, by the way) and we were driving right into horrible storms that covered the state of Arkansas.  Finally, fatigued from the stress and tense, we were HOME!  So, we’ve been staying with Nathan until we had stable income and could figure out a budget and all and begin our new life here, our new beginning.  I start school this summer and am very much looking forward to it.  We have enjoyed our time here so far with lots of good times with friends and family!

playing on Uncle Nay-Nay's bed

Cam wearing an old nightgown that was mine when I was her age!

me showing ryan my sweet karate moves down at the rivermarket

The family on Easter Sunday

Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival

me and my girl!

 

I found this draft that I started January 24th! Boy am I behind! May 24, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 1:50 pm

I tell you what, I’ve known for awhile that I needed to sit down and write on the blog, but it’s such a long and tedious task these days – I guess if I stayed more up to date on it, it wouldn’t seem that way, huh?

So Cammie is almost 16 months and STILL not walking…she crawls so fast though it’s almost like a little hamster or rabbit going through the house.  She is cruising around furniture and everything else, just not walking.  And people say, “oh, work with her  on it,” but they don’t know my rebellious little angel.  I try to get Cam to stand up and she refuses – swings her legs around in circles every which way – anything to keep those feet from touching the floor.  But…you set her down and she’ll pull herself up onto her feet.  It’s like she doesn’t like being told what to do.  If I can’t get this little girl to so much as stand, how the hell am I going to help her walk?  Rebel Rebel Rebel = Trouble Trouble Trouble.  AND she’s started hitting every now and then! Please don’t tell me I have a little trouble-maker on my hands….

Cameron and I went to Arkansas for Christmas and loads of fun. 

she looks super innocent, right? See how her plate is pushed far back? That's so that she doesn't hurl it across the room...

nathan insisted she wanted to play right before bed time! I guess that's what uncles are for huh?

Nathan decided to add some uncle touches to her hairdo

she kept going to this corner in the kitchen and taking EVERYTHING out of this pot!

"hello? May I please speak to daddy?"

Cameron fell asleep in the car going back to Nathan's house and this is how he felt was the best way to wake her up...

Cammie just adores her uncle nay-nay!

buddies sharing some down time together..

Oh look! Cammie is ACTUALLY eating! Good thing I got it caught on camera!

Grandpa getting in some time...

Now, our first or second night there, we were hanging out over at mama’s house and nathan decided to go up in the attic to pull down some of our old toys for Cammie to play with.  Well, he only brought down some of his old favorites (I think he wanted to play with them more so than getting them for Cammie!)

Then, they had a really cute game of chase…

Also while we were there, we had a family night over at Shayna’s house..

Cameron and Brody checking each other out..

I was teaching Brody the art of the self-portrait

It was supposed to be a picture of me, Shayna and Brody but Cammie was tired and wanted her mama!

Blakely took this wonderful picture of Cindy posing it up - or was this Sebastion's photography masterpiece?

Cam got this book from grandma and grandpa that plays music to go with the storybook rhymes.  This was, by far, her favorite thing.  There was one song that she couldn’t get enough of and even showed off some new dance moves to – the one, the only, (drum roll please) GEORGIE PORGIE!

So we had loads of fun with Cammie in Arkansas and I know she had a blast too – particularly with her uncle nay-nay! Even though Cameron trashed his house every day, he enjoyed having us (Cameron) there!  It was sad having to leave, but yet excited to get home to see daddy!

Now Cameron is saying a few words now – some are more distinct than others.  Her first word was “hi” and she’s been saying that for a few months now.  “Dadda” is now more like “daddy”.  Now, here’s the kicker – instead of saying “mama” (she only says it when she’s super upset and it’s more like, “muhmuh”), her next words to start saying, “doggie” and “mason”.  Yup, once again, the dog trumps mama.  I think Cameron would survive just fine if she was raised by Mason or a wild pack of dogs because he is her number 1 – not mama and daddy – Mason.  That’s okay.  Other things she tries to say – something to the effect of  ‘thank you’ and ‘here you go’ – of course it sounds like jibberish to the naked ear but mama knows… Some phrases she understands – ‘let’s clean up’, ‘where’s the remote?’, ‘where’s your barrette?’, ‘let’s change your diaper’ (that one, when she hears it, is usually followed by a squirming fit with screams), and ‘where’s your shoe?’.  She’s learned a few more signs as well – she already did the sign for ‘milk’ and ‘eat’ and she now also does the signs for ‘more’, ‘all done’, ‘daddy’, and ‘mama’.

 

What’s up chicken butt? December 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 4:12 pm

So I guess I’m officially a horrible blogger and now stand beside the president of the horrible blogger association, Amanda and vice-president, Cindy.  I MUST redeem myself and not let the dark side get it’s claws into me!  I pledge this to my loyal followers: I WILL NOT let the horrible blogger association president and vice-president suck me into their black hole of blogging darkness!

Cameron Lee has turned 1! (yeah, that was like 2 months ago)…I took her to the beach on her birthday for a romping good time..

 

Then we took her home for some birthday cupcake – didn’t go like we had thought…

 

her invitations were a work of art that I, master arts-n-crafters, whipped up, and then my little angel decided to not be so much an angel when she showed up for the shin-dig.  Just a wee bit on the fussy side…

Her cake was absolutely AWESOME and I thought for sure she’d want to dig her grabby little hands into it and start shoveling it in her mouth (or in the vicinity of her mouth), but….well, she DID have her mouth open, just not for the cake..

But it was good times nonetheless…lots of friends and family came to celebrate Cammie’s first year of life and it was a special day….

Now, halloween rolls around and Cammie told me she wanted to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I was going to have Ryan be the Tin Man (he looks like he’d be a Tin Man doesn’t he?) and I was going to be (what else?) the wicked witch of the west (or east, in our case), but money became tight and we just let Dorothy steal the show…

I'm pretty darn proud of my job with her hair!

on her way to the church carnival with toto and scarecrow

One day I took Cammie and Mason to the park down the road and it was all fun and cute…

…until someone stole my camcorder….but, thankfully, a month later, it was kindly returned to me!

My sister-in-law, Aimee, had her baby on October 24th – beautiful baby Madison, two weeks early, weighing in at 6lb 5oz and healthy as can be!

happy mama with her new baby girl!

happy Uncle Ryan with his very first neice!

Aunt Nichole with cutie baby Mattie!

Ryan and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary on November 7th..

My very very bestest friend in the whole wide world got hitched (president of the horrible blogger’s association, Amanda Froemsdorf) and is now known as the Mrs. Joe Avalos aka Amanda Avalos – I think it has very lovely ring to it!

I wish I could've been there to see the beautiful bride!

Cammie celebrated her first Thanksgiving dinner (one where she was actually able to “eat” anyway) at the Holiday House with mama and daddy…

gobble gobble in my mouth...

 

Cam with her Uncle Jason Thanksgiving day - look at all those teeth!

Cam and Jason reading - she LOVES her books!

Cam has shown she likes to eat with mama (more like help herself to mama’s food off her plate!) But I immensely enjoy sharing breakfast with my baby..

mmmm!! tasty green eggs and ham! (literally!)

Oh! I almost forgot! Cammie graduated from her swimming lessons in October (wouldn’t you know that I wouldn’t have my camcorder so I couldn’t video tape it! – but I’ve got pics to show off my baby’s newfound survival skills!)

Now, due to some odd and irrational behavior and certain events that have taken place, Ryan and I have decided that we will celebrate Christmas as a family on Dec 14th and Cammie and I will be going to Arkansas to celebrate Christmas there with my family.  It will be weird not being with Ryan on Christmas, but this was the best scenario for everyone so that the real meaning of Christmas wouldn’t be lost in a mess of drama and unhappiness – no worries, this has nothing to do with me and Ryan, but rather other people who are close to us.  So, although I am sad that it has reached this unfortunate point, I am excited as well that in a little over a week, I will be seeing my mama and cam will be able to see her grandparents and uncle! (nathan won’t admit it, but he’s super excited about being able to spend a lot of time with Cam very soon!)

So that’s pretty much the updates..here’s some random pics of the adventures and misadventures of not-so-little-anymore Cameron Lee…

walking a trail at Bulow state park

Cammie loves the outdoors!

clinging to me for dear life!

she's on the run...

cammie enjoying the view with her buddy Lauren

who do you think she takes after here, me or Ryan? hu hu

cam hitchhiked a ride to the beach!

 

daddy spinning her around – my little adrenaline junkie!

 

Part deuce October 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 5:37 am
 

 

 

Okay, is 1:30 the magic number here?  So we left off at the zoo, and I know that the orangutan video somehow didn’t make it on, but after what I went through for that entry, one video not making it seemed like the heavens above had just granted me a pardon from hell.  Anyway, the Url is there if you want it. 

 

 

 

So, on Thursday, the 5th, I met up with my good ole pals Cindy and Shayna and it had just so happened that 2 of our friends from our “group” from highschool were also going to be in town.  So we all met up for dinner – first time for all of us to be hanging out since highschool!

natalie, me, dawn, cindy and shayna

natalie, me, dawn, cindy and shayna

dawn, cindy, me, gina, shayna, natalie

dawn, cindy, me, gina, shayna, natalie

On Saturday, we had dinner with Cindy and her family and Shayna and her family over at Shayna’s house.  All the kids hanging out and good friends hanging out..Shayna and her husband, Jeremiah, cooked a mean dinner and ever since that night, I’ve become slightly addicted to bi-color fresh corn on the cob!

all the munchkins together

all the munchkins together

cindy's son, brody, is 4 and half months younger than Cam and he's about the same size! I told Cindy he's going to be a linebacker!

cindy's son, brody, is 4 and half months younger than Cam and he's about the same size! I told Cindy he's going to be a linebacker!

Shayna had a cute little playground area in her yard that we played around in.  I say ‘we’ because I definitely included myself in the ‘play’ part – it was for Cammie, I swear! So, I wanted to take Cam down the slide since she’s not old enough to go solo but she immensely enjoys anything thrill-seeking – yes, my daughter is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. However, the slide, had some ‘grounding issues’ – or maybe a weight limit or something….I don’t know, all I know is, I almost broke it…

then i put Cam on this kinda seesaw swing thing and she had a good ole time on that sucker!

Cam and Nathan became real good buddies while we were there. Nathan played with her and blamed farts on her…

He sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for her…

And it’s funny, Nathan tried to say to me that he started talking at 8 months…

But mama said that he didn’t start talking until he was 3… I’m glad I got it all recorded…

We spent a lot of time outside and in mama’s front and backyard. Cammie sure is an outside girl. 

grandma doing patty cake for cam

grandma doing patty cake for cam

 

are those grandma's plants we're pulling apart and trying to eat?

are those grandma's plants we're pulling apart and trying to eat?

 

oh, her first real love - dirt!

oh, her first real love - dirt!

 

there's nothing like enjoying the outside

there's nothing like enjoying the outside

 

While we were hanging out in the backyard watching Cameron roam around eating dirt, I made the comment that I could see that she was going to be a dirt girl and it was going to be a devil keeping her clean.  Mama agreed, based on an experience she had with her grandbaby that made her see that Cammie would probably never be the girl that likes dolls…

So, unbelievably, here I am finishing this draft Oct 14 at 1:37am! I guess it really is the magic number, eh?  Just to give you an idea of how busy I’ve been, I began this “part deuce” draft on Sept 23…kinda sad.  It’s been so long since the arkansas trip, I’m not even sure where to pick up from…

So, based on the order of the pictures I’ve already added to the blog and the order of which they are in my pictures, the next thing up on the arkansas trip is my visit with my good ole friends, the Braswells.  I’ve known Jessie since she was just yay big and I was there the day Shelby was born – so needless to say, seeing these girls all grown up, Jessie being a teenager (!), it really makes you realize how fast time goes and how old you feel! Anyway, they purchased their first house and live in Cabot now and we had a really nice visit there.  I do know that when Ryan and I finally move to Arkansas, I’ve already got 2 good babysitters lined up!

group shot

group shotMe and Shelby Lynn (9 years old)

Me and Jessie (13 years old)

Me and Jessie (13 years old)So one night when Nathan was working, we met him at the restaurant of his choice - Panda Garden in WLR. My first thought was, "a chinese buffet? Really?" but let me tell ya folks, best Chinese buffet I've ever been to! Mama even said, after she filled up her first plate, "I'm in HOG HEAVEN!". And yes, she said it with that mama enthusiasm we all know! So, this was another moment of cute Uncle Nay-nay bonding with Cam. Nathan kept asking if I was going to let Cammie have any ice cream and it took me a few times of him asking to pick up on why he was so anxious to know if I would give her any - HE wanted to give her some ice cream! So of course I said yes. I love seeing Nathan being so attached to Cam!Nathan giving Cam some ice cream

Nathan asking Cam if she wants some more!

Nathan asking Cam if she wants some more!

Cammie getting sleeepy...

Cammie getting sleeepy...

Me and my important people!

Me and my important people!

my baby fell asleep as soon as we got in the car!

my baby fell asleep as soon as we got in the car!

Our last day there, mama, me and Cameron went and got our pictures taken together at Sears – we were in a hurry because we were running a bit late (imagine that!) so I certainly wasn’t looking all that great…but Cam was!
cameron sears 009
Ryan said that it looks like mama was photo-shopped into the picture...It does, doesn't it? I definitely chuckled at that one!

Ryan said that it looks like mama was photo-shopped into the picture...It does, doesn't it? I definitely chuckled at that one!

face of an angel

face of an angel

After we took pictures at Sears (oh my gosh it took forever!) we met Nathan for our last night dinner at Ciao’s…
Cam's always the life of the party!

Cam's always the life of the party!

After dinner, Nathan had to go back to work and me, mama and ryan went to Wal-mart for a few things (mama wanted to get a few items for us for our trip back!).  We had such a good time! Probably the most fun I’ve ever had in Wal-Mart! Mama pushed Cam around in the buggy, talking to her and just enjoying being ‘grandma’, and Ryan and I reverted to be teenagers and goofed around like to roudy kids.  Mama kept having some kind of funky white stuff appear and reappear on her mouth.  It was like the opposite of vanishing – re-vanishing?- and it was pretty funny watching her walk around Wal-Mart like that.  She looked like a crazy person…
mama's weird white pasty mouth..

mama's weird white pasty mouth..

 

 

Wal-Mart fun- not wanting our last night to end...

Wal-Mart fun- not wanting our last night to end...

 
So Saturday, August 15th, rolls around…time for us to go home.  It’s funny though, I say it’s time for us to go home, but Arkansas is what I really consider home…
Now, mama stayed the night with us over at Nathan’s and she had said that she was going to get up early and cook us breakfast.  Mama slept with me in the spare bedroom and the next morning I heard her get up and go to the bathroom.  I look at the clock and it’s like 7ish.  So, thinking that she was getting up, I hurry and get up to get finished on packing and start loading it in the car and stuff.  Well, I was drinking my coffee (got hooked on coffee again staying with Nathan!) out on his deck, checking email and such and before I knew it, like 30 minutes had gone by – and no mama.  So apparently, her getting up was just a little pee break from a sound sleep.  Well, since she doesn’t sleep well at night, I didn’t bother getting her up.  I worked and worked on getting stuff done while the whole house slept in…must be nice..So mama is the next to get up somewhere around 9ish.  She and I hang out a little on the deck drinking coffee and about half an hour later I mentioned that I wanted to go see Mrs. Martin after breakfast.  Breakfast, what?  Oh yeah, mama had totally forgotten all about saying she was going to cook us a big ole breakfast.  That explains the lack of rushing?  So while she’s cooking it up, I go and visit with Mrs. Martin (wish I had had more time with her..)
Mrs. Martin looks the same as she did 20 yrs. ago! I hope I can pull that off!

Mrs. Martin looks the same as she did 20 yrs. ago! I hope I can pull that off!I bet she's an AWESOME grandma...Mrs. Martin is the best...

 Geez, it’s getting harder and harder to finish this draft! This is why I keep a journal – because I forget things so quickly! So, yeah, the picture of Mrs. Martin is where I left off last time, so here I am, picking up and I think I might get to the end this time!  So when I got back from visiting with Mrs. Martin, there was a nice big ole breakfast waiting for me!  (Actually, when I got back, I saw the empty skillet, no biscuits or gravy, no bacon, eggs all gone, and let me tell ya, I was PO’ed…and then I opened the microwave and saw the nice big plate my mama had saved for me…) So I gobble down breakfast (I had Ryan breathing down my neck on what time it was and we should’ve been on the road by now, etc.) and began the daunting task of loading the car.  Now, I’m a pretty hefty packer – yes, I tend to overpack just a bit because I don’t like being unprepared.  Inevitably, I do always forget to pack something (usually something important, like say, a hairbrush or makeup) but at least I’ve got enough different outfits to change for all 3 meals a day! – and shoes to match it!). But I always come back to Florida with more stuff – mama always has stuff ready months ahead of time that she wants to send back with me.  Well, it all adds up, let me tell ya.  So some of the things that we had to add to our loading the car ‘situation’: a chair, a telephone table, a musical play table, 5 big ole awkward sized pictures, a shoe rack, 3 jam-packed boxes, 2 garbage bags of clothes – then all the stuff we already had.  100 degree Arkansas sun blazing down on us trying to fit the luggage pieces just right on the luggage rack (picture a cross of a jigsaw puzzle and jenga) – oh!but before we even made it that far, (HOW COULD I ALMOST FORGET THE WORST PART OF ALL???), we had to reverse the ratchet tie downs, which we didn’t even really know how we got them to work in the first place, so how the HELL were we going to know how to reverse them?  The pictures say almost everything – just not the profanity I was thinking and the fact that I felt like I was a human working with 2 monkeys…

here's the beginning of realilzing we had to reverse the ratchets - look who's working and what the 2 monkeys are doing

here's the beginning of realilzing we had to reverse the ratchets - look who's working and what the 2 monkeys are doing

look who's 'observing' and who's down on the ground problem solving...

look who's 'observing' and who's down on the ground problem solving...

let's just take a close look at my face....does that sum it up?

let's just take a close look at my face....does that sum it up?

So wouldn’t ya know that I would do something to the ratchet, an hour into it, that would pave the way for one of the monkeys  to figure out how to reverse it, and do I get the well-deserved blood sweat and tears credit?  Nope, the monkey does….life just isn’t fair.  Well, while we were sweatin’ it out packing up the car, mama was taking care of Cameron inside – at least that’s what we thought.  Little did I know, mama was going haywire with my camera having loads of fun taking mucho self-portraits of her and Cam…

one of the better quality ones...

one of the better quality ones...

 

not sure what to say about this one..

not sure what to say about this one..

 

I wonder what Cameron is thinking here..

I wonder what Cameron is thinking here..

 

Grandma and Cam taking turns giving each other sips! It's all fun and games until you put the bottle away.....

Grandma and Cam taking turns giving each other sips! It's all fun and games until you put the bottle away.....

 

looks like someone took an unauthorized break from loading the car....

looks like someone took an unauthorized break from loading the car....

We get the car all packed up – or should I say, packed all the way up – and it’s time to say goodbye to mama and Nathan.  The hardest goodbyes of all time – for all of us…It broke my heart the most seeing Nathan not wanting to say goodbye to his new buddy, his favorite little niece, Cammie.  After living with Nathan for 2 weeks, it was much harder for me to say goodbye to him as well. 
So I’m going to end this with a few random pics and videos..this first video, it’s real short so pay close attention to Nathan and then watch Cameron.  Is this what role uncles are supposed to play?
Teri and Cameron..what a great picture!

Teri and Cameron..what a great picture!

goofin' off in the backseat with Cam - you see how she's trying to push AND kick me out of the picture!

goofin' off in the backseat with Cam - you see how she's trying to push AND kick me out of the picture!

 

Has Nichole Been on Sabbatical? September 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 3:19 pm

Well, my dear loyal readers, I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself over the past, long 2 months, “Has Nichole been on Sabbatical?”  and my answer to you is, um, yeah?  So it may appear that I am the worst blogger (with the exception of Amanda and Cindy) of all time but really,  I’ve seemed to have lost some of my hours in the day some where and more importantly, I’ve seemed to have misplaced some of the days in the week as well.  I think somebody (I won’t name any names, oh powerful one) thought it would be funny to steal away hours and days from me so that I wouldn’t have enough time to finish anything.  It’s like I was handed a sippy cup to get the water out of my boat and some isolated hurricane was strategically placed over me.  Yeah, that analogy, all mine.  So here I am, once again, up in the wee hours of the morning (the current time is 1:30 a.m. but I know that in 10 minutes, somebody is going to change the time on me and I’m going to look up and it’s going to say 4:30 a.m.) trying to get things done that I can’t seem to get done during the day.  Now, it’s funny, today, a non-mother friend of mine asks me this question, “Are you more tired being a mom?”  Ha! It’s funny because, no joke, in the past 48+ hours (that’s 2 days for you morons out there), I’ve gotten 6 hours of sleep.  Now, with that said, you’d think I’d be snoozing it up right now; however, knowing there’s stuff to be done and tomorrow is my last day off for a few days and I’d like to actually be able to enjoy it with my husband and daughter, I can’t seem to go to bed right now.  I’ve been running around the house like a sleep-deprived maniac for the past 4 hours doing a bunch of little things here and there.  And of course, I’m slightly easily distracted, so I’d be in the middle of 2 or 3 things and get sidetracked with something else that needed done.  And right now, I absolutely positively just had no idea what I had just written about for 5 minutes.  Oh well, I’m not going to go back and read it and start editing because I’m delirious.  So, I have no idea where to even begin with this blog entry.  So much has happened that I’m not even sure what’s new news and what’s not.  Besides, I’m afraid the entry might end up being like 1 million kiga-mega-giga-bytes of space – that means it would be super duper long.  And I never told you why I chose this daunting blog entry as the project to do tonight at 1:30 in the morning – her name is Amanda Louise Froemsdorf and if you see her, you tell her she is one haunting devil voice in my head.  At least once a day, I hear her devil voice in my head telling me she keeps checking the blog and there’s nothing new.  I’m hearing it, the devil voice, clear as a bell, right this very second…

 

Okay, let’s begin….

August 1st thru August 15th we take our first family road trip to Arkansas for a 2 week vacation.  Not quite sure how we pulled that one off with our finances but somehow we did – by our skinny skin-skin.  (That’s the right expression, isn’t it? Like from the 3 little pigs or something? For some reason, it’s not sounding right…) oh my gosh, it just donned on me just now as I seemed to have zoned off into the light of the computer – it’s “by the hair on my chinny chin chin! -right? yeah, that’s right.  Okay, back to the vacation.

We had a nice little tire blow out about an hour and half from North Little Rock. That was lovely, for sure.  Glad I wasn’t driving.  So we finally get to Nathan’s house – that’s where we were staying – the afternoon of the 2nd.  We unpack (I unpack, he slept) shower and go to mama’s house.  Mama has some really nice lusciously soft green blades of love grass in her front yard and since Cammie hasn’t been exposed to such a delicacy before (we have green, well-cut weeds, with stickers, I might add), I wanted to take her out there to play.  She was in hog heaven.  She crawled and clapped (I just realized that crawling would’ve been considered one of those new things but not so new, so yeah, she’s crawling) and explored around for dirty nasty things to put in her mouth.  It was good times.

grandma with her girl

grandma with her girl

 Me, Ryan and Nathan went to Wild River Country (a water park) one day and Cam stayed with Grandma.  That was fun.  It’s been over a decade since I’d been there.  Actually, the last time I went was with Shayna (I’ve got a picture) and we were both super skinny and she had braces, so you know that was a long time ago!  The rapids are always one of my favorites and I peed a little watching Nathan getting body slammed into the wall 3 times over by a bunch of little kids coming down the rapids.  Ha!  That was funny!  Another day we all went to the zoo.  Believe it or not, it was Nathan who suggested that.  It was Cam’s first trip to a zoo and her first ride on a merry-go-round too. 

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So after the merry-go-round, there was this bird exhibit where you could go in and feed the birds nectar.  Sounds pretty cool.  No matter how cute and small they may be, birds are still freaky and you never know if and when they are going to go and just start pecking your eyes out.

 

 
Yeah, it’s funny, Ryan got a bird on him and it started nibbling on whatever       minute creepy crawling bugs his neck was infested with (I’ve been telling him for awhile that he’s crusty) and if you know Ryan at all, he’s not any kind of nature, animal, bug whisperer.  Quite the opposite my friends and I wish you could have heard the panic-y begging and pleading he was doing to have us get the bird off of him.  hu hu not until after a few pictures were taken.
oh my sweet little scared husband!

oh my sweet little scared husband!

 Then we go see the monkeys and such and we’re standing there, looking down at the (dictionary please) orangutans, when this big gust of wind comes and blows Cammie’s cute little pink sunhat down into the pit.  Now we didn’t start recording in time to get, so you probably won’t believe it, but one of the orangutans dashed over to the hat, sat down, picked it up, inspected it, and raised it up and put it on it’s head for a second.  He took it off and that’s when we finally got the camcorder all fired up to record but  I swear to you, my friend, monkeys are smart, even if they do throw poop.Cam just loved all the different monkeys! I'm sure it's from all of my very life-like monkey impressions..[/caption]

I have no idea what animal has their attention but I took one darn cute picture!

I have no idea what animal has their attention but I took one darn cute picture!

best buds

best buds

 

Okay, well folks, it seems that I had some technical difficulties with this blog the past 2 HOURS, and everything got all mixed around, and paragraphs became captions under pictures, pictures were lost, then moved around, then lost again.  I’m not sure what button I accidently hit, but it seems to have been the WRONG ONE!  So I can either save this draft and finish it over the next 2 months, which, sadly, is probably true…or, imagine this – I could go ahead and publish this entry, give you, my fans, a little something to start you off with, and it’s like a “to be continued”, edge of your seat, cliffhanger.  It’ll be like a TV drama, where you have to wait till next week to see what happens next.  I think that’s what I’m gonna do – give y’all this appetizer.  So..tune in next week to find out more about the Arkansas vacation (you do realize that the “tune in next week” is supposed to be the TV voice dude and “next week” is just for effect, and it’s actually a very, very relative term, especially when used by someone who loses time into thin air.)  Besides, I think I might be seeing double…triple?  Wait a minute..am I even awake?  And now that it’s freak’n 4:30 in the morning, staying up to work on the blog sure isn’t seeming like it was such a great idea now….damn you devil voice!
 

Birthdays and Independence Day and then some… July 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 4:26 pm

It’s been a few weeks ago, but Ryan and his brother Jason recently celebrated their birthdays on June 24th.  Jason turned 23 and Ryan 26.  Me, Ryan, Jason and George (Cam was with the babysitter, Kim) went out to eat at the Japanese steakhouse, Sapporro, and there’s a chef there, (is that what they’re called?), Mikey, who sings at everyone’s birthday.  Now, although they think Mikey is hilarious, Jason and Ryan don’t particularly enjoy this ritual because it draws attention towards them.  Here’s a clip…

So, that was the birthday dinner.  Afterwards, we picked up their friend, Marco, who’s birthday was also on the 24th, and we all went to the Shores Resort and Spa to hang out and have drinks.  When that bar closed down around 11ish, we went to this hole in wall bar down the road and finished up the night.  Aimee, Ryan’s sister, and her boyfriend, Pat, came to chauffeur us all back to our humble abodes.  It was a lovely evening.  But the birthdays didn’t end here.  Oh no, my friend.  Apparently, the boys were entitled to a birthday week and they all went to Savannah, Georgia the following weekend.  Yes, Nichole stayed behind to work hard at work and work hard at home.  I did send little videos and pictures of baby Cam to her daddy so that he could still see her every day.

So 4th of July comes…Cameron’s first Independence Day and first fireworks show.  Now, the fireworks in Ormond don’t start until 9:30…Cameron’s bedtime is around 7:30…8:00 at the latest.  So, we wanted her to see the fireworks because we just knew she’d be mesmerized by them, but we weren’t going to force her to stay up.  If she was okay staying up, then she’d stay up, but if started to get fussy then she’d miss the show and go on to bed.  So we all go over to Ryan’s dad’s condo and we hang out there till it all begins.  8:00 rolls around and I decide to take Cam across the street to this park that had a lot of kid stuff going on and I thought it would keep her attention and keep her going for a while.  She enjoyed walking around amongst all the faces and seeing all the kids running around.  Aimee went with me and we took a few photos since the opportunity was available.

Aunt Aimee and Cammie wearing their patriotic colors!

Aunt Aimee and Cammie wearing their patriotic colors!

Cam with her little pigtails!

Cam with her little pigtails!

we're getting sleepy...

we're getting sleepy...

So the fireworks show begins and we all pile out on the patio to watch – Even Cammie.  We’re all excited to see her reaction – you know, her big eyes fixated on all the lights and sparkles of the fireworks.  They begin, and Cam glances up at the sky – for a brief moment – then looks at all the hustle and bustle down below and is more interested in talking to the pedestrians 7 floors down than the fireworks we were so excited for her to see.  Now, I will say that the super loud booming ones that filled the sky did get her attention but other than that, I was slightly disappointed at the lack of attention.  But that’s what happens I guess when you’re child is more entertained by watching other people than anything else around her.  She takes after me and my grandpa I think – we’re both people watchers and I’d sit with him on the bench in the mall and just watch all the people.  Ryan says I stare but I say I “observe.”

The next day we went over to Ryan’s dad’s and swam a little bit in the pool before going upstairs for some of George’s hamburgers. 

Look at me daddy and pop-pop!

Look at me daddy and pop-pop!

Look at these two...just like her dad, can't take a picture with her eyes open to save her life!

Look at these two...just like her dad, can't take a picture with her eyes open to save her life!

I am so blessed with these two...

I am so blessed with these two...


Here’s a cute little video of my girl playing with me in my room…

Now, Cameron started taking swimming lessons a week or so ago and I was able to take pictures but no video (only on Fridays so that you can’t steal their program).  Now, I know what you’re all thinking, “swimming lessons? For a baby? What has the world come to?’. But, it’s not swimming lessons, per se (sp.?), but rather, survival skills.  So they teach infants how to get to the top of the water and float on their backs if they should fall into a body of water.  There is actually some videos on youtube of these ISR swimming lessons.  It’s purely for safety sake, particularly living in Florida where you have water and pools everywhere.  Now, the first lesson went outstandingly…she did so well lying on her back and uttering one little whimper or cry.  The teacher was quite impressed; however, things started deteriorating with each passing day. Day two: Cameron cried.  Day three: Cameron cried some more. Day four: Cameron starts to cry as soon as I sit her on the edge of the pool for the teacher to take her.  Day five: Cameron screams hysterically from beginning to end.  So, we’ll see how if things start to move forward again – let’s hope so for what these things cost.  I sure would hate to spend the money and at the end of 6 weeks, Cameron not being any better off than 6 weeks prior!  Any way, few pics from her first lesson…

Yeah, big girl!

Yeah, big girl!

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Now, on the few occasions that Ryan and I are both home at the same time during wake baby hours, we like to horse around on the bed with Cammie…

tickle tickle tickle!!!

tickle tickle tickle!!!

Now try not to smile Cam...

Now try not to smile Cam...

Aerial shot

Aerial shot

I took Cam to the Verizon store with me yesterday for them to see why nobody can hear me on my phone.  They said that they were going to replace the phone because the other was broken (Yeah, shiny new phone!), however, they were going to have to transfer all my stuff from old to new.  He tells me to look around if I like while he does this.  Okay, sure. So I walk around.  There is this couple with a little girl and we make small talk about the babies.  Well, the talking DOESN’T  STOP! Now, I’m no introvert or anti-social individual, but enough is enough already.  I want to walk away so bad, but there’s no opportunity for an exit.  As she’s bumping her gums (that’s what my brother says when my mom talks and talks..), all I can do is keep thinking to myself, “what is taking them so long with my phone? Why haven’t they come to rescue me from these people?  Do they know I’m even over here?  Should I throw a sideways glance their way?”.  No rescue came.  So after she gave me her number, (I guess I’m THAT charismatic!), I suggested that I should probably go check on my phone.  I mean really, it’s been an hour already! So I go and they say that it’s taking longer than usual because I had something like 160 pictures and videos on my phone.  Wow, I guess I really can join the mamarazzi club!  So I decide to stay close by so that nobody else attaches themselves to me.  In the process, Cam was this little big hit with everyone else.  It was like she was some kind of circus clown or something and I even caught myself trying to get her to do ‘tricks’! What had I become in the Verizon store?  Is this what waiting too long has the ability to do to you?

this is me taking a picture of Cameron to grab her attention to the camera for her to do some of her 'tricks' for the other customers.  What kind of mother am I?

this is me taking a picture of Cameron to grab her attention to the camera for her to do some of her 'tricks' for the other customers. What kind of mother am I?

Finally, new phone ready 2 and half hours later…cranky baby and bad mom go on home.  The end…..

 

Oh, how my hard work has paid off! July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — ryanandnichole @ 5:03 pm

As some of you know, I’ve been working very diligently with little Cam on a few things – sitting up, clapping and waving.  She started sitting up unsupported on her own about two and a half months ago- not sure if I already gave that update.  But she is clapping like a seal now!  Oh how my girl loves to clap!  For a full month, I would clap my hands and say, “mama claps,” and then put her hands together and say, “Cameron claps.”  If Ryan was in the room I’d throw him into the mix too.  Well, about a month and a half ago, she started doing it! My hard work has paid off! She just loves to clap! Her newest twist with the clapping, is grabbing my fingers in her hands, and she makes me clap!  She cracks up thinking it’s too funny! How cute is that, I ask?  So once we got the clapping down pat, it was start to work on the wave.  It didn’t take nearly as long for her to pick that up.  The only glitch is that she hasn’t figured out that she’s supposed to wave when we wave – she just waves on her own to whatever moves her! Oh, how awesome it is to be a parent!

So, Amanda was in Miami for a work conference and she agreed to extend her stay for a few days to visit with us here in Ormond.  So I had to drive to Miami to get her and it took me a mere 3 hours 15 minutes to get her! Well, I wish I could say the same for the way back because Amanda distracted me from my job as a driver and I missed the turnoff to get onto 95 but didn’t really realize it until 120 miles later when I said for the 4th time that things didn’t look right.  So, it took us 6 hours to get home.  It’s always an adventure riding with me, eh?  Well, we had lots of good times over those past few days.  We went to the park…100_1864100_1834

how will I EVER be able to say 'no' to this face??

how will I EVER be able to say 'no' to this face??

and we went and visited over at Jake and Jo’s house in Sanford. Matt, Amanda’s oldest brother, planned his visit so that he’d be here at the same time as Manda, so Cam and I got to spend some time with the whole Froemsdorf Clan (if only Nathan could’ve been here and we would’ve been complete!). 100_1917This was Matt’s first time to see Cameron and they bonded for life! On the way out to eat, he sat in the backseat with Cam and they just chatted it up back there! I can’t wait for Matt to have kids because seeing how he was with Cam and Ben, I know he’ll be an awesome dad! (I’d like to give a shout out to Matt!..) -(remember back in the day when they did that on the radio and it was cool?  hu hu… anyway, back to my storytelling…So Cam and Ben got to spend some good quality play time together…  And here’s another video clip that truly demonstrates my videography skills…

It looks like Cammie's telling Ben something!

It looks like Cammie's telling Ben something!

 

This is my favorite! We're telling people that she's giving him a kiss, but we know that she's really trying to eat his face! This is true to the expression 'sucking face'!

This is my favorite! We're telling people that she's giving him a kiss, but we know that she's really trying to eat his face! This is true to the expression 'sucking face'!

 

Jo with baby Cam and big boy Ben!

Jo with baby Cam and big boy Ben!

So that was on Saturday of Amanda’s visit.  Now, there’s a reason Cam’s hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in days (no, it’s NOT because it hadn’t been washed in days!).  You see, I live by my little parenting instruction book when there’s something I need an answer to.  So Cameron had cradle cap, aka, dry scalp, and my book said that you could rub some mineral oil or vaseline on it to get the scales up.  So, no mineral oil so I used vaseline.  Well, as soon as I put that first glob on her head, I KNEW that it was a terrible idea.  I don’t think that the book expects babies to have as much hair as Cameron has when they advise you to do this because all that vaseline went in the hair, not on the scalp.  So I wash it before we go over to Jake and Jo’s house but it wasn’t until we arrived that I realized that it didn’t come out.  All her hair was dry except this one clump by her forehead that was nothing but grease.  Jo let’s me wash it again in the sink but still no progress.  So Cameron was getting baptised on Sunday morning and I was a bit concerned about whether or not it was going to be able to get all the grease out.  So that morning, I came up with the clever idea of putting baby powder on the greasy parts of hair, with the reasoning that baby powder absorbs oil, therefore, it’ll absorb grease (right?).  So here’s what she looked like before her bath…100_1945100_1948

I think she looks like a little primitive cave child! So, I go to give her a bath before getting her all dolled up in her baptism dress Grandma and Grandpa bought for her and things aren’t looking to promising at first.  I lay her over my lap in the tub and pour water over her head and I can see that the baby powder isn’t rinsing out – it has adhered itself to the cradle cap like glue! I’m thinking, “well, good thing that fancy dress came with a bonnet.”  However, after 4 washings, things were looking better but the true result wouldn’t reveal itself until the hair dried and….and…..(this is me keeping yall in suspense)….it worked!! Cammie’s beautiful hair was back in business!

this is everyone who came to be a part of Cam's special day!

this is everyone who came to be a part of Cam's special day!

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Now, Sunday wasn’t just Cameron’s baptism – It was Father’s Day as well! Ryan’s very first Father’s Day! So after church, we all went to Crispers to eat lunch…

this is amanda just a little TOO excited about her food!

this is amanda just a little TOO excited about her food!

Cam sitting pretty while we ate - Ryan and Amanda picked out what she was to wear - down to the headband!

Cam sitting pretty while we ate - Ryan and Amanda picked out what she was to wear - down to the headband!

Then Amanda went back to Jake and Jo’s house to spend some time with them and with Matt before he was to leave that night.  Ryan went over to his dad’s house while Cam and I went home to take a nap – um, Cameron took a nap, yeah, it was just Cam napping….so Cameron wakes up from her nap and I’m slaving away in kitchen trying to prepare my first lasagna.  You see, it was Ryan’s mom’s tradition to make lasagna for George on Father’s Day – so, I’m trying to keep it going.  Now, the recipe that I had found ages ago that I set aside for when I was ready to try to make it, just so happened to be one of those “easy lasagna” recipes which had you put the noodles in it uncooked.  Well, I was nervous about doing this.  I had never heard of such thing – not cooking the noodles?  I went for it.  I put it all together, took us over to the condo, popped it in the oven (which Ryan had preheated for me WITHOUT me asking! He did that all on his own people! My how he’s grown!), and waited….and when that timer went off, and everyone was drooling and clapping to know it was time to eat, my nerves were on edge on whether or not those noodles remained uncooked!…..(here’s some more suspense moments….)….and SHIZOW! A lasagna MASTERPIECE! So yes folks, don’t be afraid of those “quick and easy” recipes, because I dared to do it and I survived! 

Cammie and her daddy on his first Father's Day!

Cammie and her daddy on his first Father's Day!

Cameron and PopPop playing on Father's Day

Cameron and PopPop playing on Father's Day

I had to hornswaggle my way into a picture with my girl!

I had to hornswaggle my way into a picture with my girl!

The men celebrating Father's Day with their kids!

The men celebrating Father's Day with their kids!

 Okay, we’re skipping forward to the next day – Monday.  Amanda comes back to us after being stolen by her siblings and it’s her last full day before trotting off back to her husband-to-be.  So she and I go to Moe’s to grab some supper for us while Ryan stays home with Cam and babysits our friend’s daughter, Lauren, whose 5, for a short while. So we’re gone, 15, maybe 20 minutes, and as soon as we opened the door, you could hear children screaming – I mean screaming. So Ryan walks over to me and says, “Lauren popped a glowstick in her eye and she won’t let me help her.” So I tell him to feed Cam (that’s why she was screaming) and I’d get Lauren.  She’s screaming and crying and she tries to hide underneath the desk and I tell her to get out or I’m pulling her out.  She gets out, I clean out her eye and give her some good ole postitive reinforcement to take her mind off her injury and everything’s fine.  Nichole to the RESCUE!!!  (that was with superman music). So Ryan says he doesn’t know how to handle a 5 year old and he’s NEVER babysitting her by himself again.  I think I might agree! (Men – they just don’t know how to take charge, do they?). 

We eat, talk, hang and play scrabble.  Oh how I love some scrabble.  Why do I love scrabble so much, you ask?  Well, it’s because I’m the srabble champ, that’s why!  Well, I was the champ with no worries of defeat, but I had never played with the Mandameister.  I sure she had it in the bag, but I came ’round the corner in the last turn, and WOOSH!  took the lead to VICTORY!!! WOO HOO! Yeah, except it wasn’t nearly that exciting in real life – I was so determined to beat this maniac that I forced us to play way past the point of when we should have packed it up and gone to bed so my victory joy was overshadowed by my gratitude that it was finally over and time to sleep.  We quietly said goodnight and dragged ourselves to bed. 

So Tuesday arrives and it’s time for Manda Lou to go home.  We went to the beach to take some pics to make it look like we spent the day there….

These sassy ladies sporting some hip shades at the beach

These sassy ladies sporting some hip shades at the beach

we're teaching Cammie the art of the self-portrait!

we're teaching Cammie the art of the self-portrait!

and Cameron helping her out on the computer -Cameron's teaching Amanda how to use the laptop!”]"what is this wet grainy stuff?  Food perhaps?"

And swimming with Cam –100_1896
And watching Cam eat and play at the same time –

Cam likes to butt heads - I think it's her way of showing love! I guess weirdness IS hereditary!

Cam likes to butt heads - I think it's her way of showing love! I guess weirdness IS hereditary!

And then it was time for Aunt Amanda to go on home, so we had to take one last girls photo –

there's A LOT of pressure taking a picture using the self-timer! And, no, that is NOT my underwear showing - I was wearing shorts underneath I have you know...

there's A LOT of pressure taking a picture using the self-timer! And, no, that is NOT my underwear showing - I was wearing shorts underneath I have you know...

And when Amanda thought I wasn’t around, I caught her (and video taped her) talking to Cam and saying goodbye –
Amanda, I really tried not to get your butt sticking up in the air butt my camera lens is so small and, well, then there’s your butt…hee hee hee hee hee ha ha ha ha (the laughing is done with the music to “baby got back” playing in the background)! (Now, that actually made me laugh just now!)
So, believe it or not, but it has taken me 5 days to finish this one blog entry.  I don’t think people realize how time consuming it is to do one of these things with all the pictures and videos you have to upload and then try to figure out where on your computer you actually uploaded them to and all that jazz.  So, hope yall actually finished reading this entry because it took me a long long time to do it! Till next time…..