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Doomstown at Rawhide

Written on October 31, 2006 by Kevin.

We decided to continue our Halloween fun last night by taking Rylan to Rawhide, which is a western town with multiple attractions. This time of year, during the evenings they change it into Doomtown. Normally, cowboys would be roaming the streets putting on a show for all of the spectators. Now at night, they ride around on their horses dressed up trying to scare the kids. Other people walk the street in an eerie fashion.

We dressed Rylan back up in his cow outfit which fit perfectly with the western theme and we got multiple compliments on it. The town itself is free to enter but small attractions tickets can be purchased. We decided to pass on the attractions and stick to eating. They had a small carnival that has temporarily stopped there so we passed through there as well. Rylan as always loves all of the lights and movement.

We prefer to explore new things with Rylan rather than sitting at home every night. This was a perfect example of how a bit of research can provide the night with a new experience. Check our your local television news website for a local calendar, you may find some great things.

Early start for Halloween fun

Written on October 30, 2006 by Kevin.

Looking through the local calendar here showed quite a few Halloween events this past weekend. We made our selections and set out for the night after dressing Rylan up in his cow outfit.

Our first stop was at a local baseball field where the city was putting on an event. An easy canned food donation got us into the door and we began our trip around. They had alot of crafts for the kids to do however nothing within Rylan's capability. It was great to see all of the little kids in their costumes and everyone seemed to like Rylan's costume as well. We were quickly pulled aside and asked if Rylan would like to participate in a costume contest which we gladly accepted. I took my place in line and soon realized that it was going to be a difficult decision as there were so many 0-2yr olds dressed in some very unique costumes. Rylan and I took our walk for the judges and made our way off stage receiving a pencil (for a child?) on our way out. We waited patiently for the results but unfortunately Rylan did not win.

We made our way to our second Halloween event in hopes of participating in another costume contest but we had just missed it. We took a walk around the park and came across the pumpkin patch that they had setup. We took Rylan out of his stroller and immediately he went and grabbed his pumpkin of choice. We offered him a few others but he was firm in his decision. Moving ourselves out of the pumpkin patch led us to a hot air balloon which Rylan couldn't keep his eyes off of. When the torch flamed up, he stared at it with curiosity and fear in his eyes, we moved on. A few games were setup which I helped Rylan do and we ended up winning a bit of candy.

Last year, my wife and I had skipped on pumpkin carving because Rylan was only a few weeks old. This year however we decided to go ahead with the carving after Rylan went off to sleep. A quick Google search comes up with an abundance of pumpkin carving patterns but we decided to stick with some of the patterns from books. We decided that we would carve Rylan out a pumpkin as well with your typical jack-o-lantern face while we did a more detailed design on each of ours. We are pleased on how they turned out.

Week in Review

Written on October 27, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

So with my new title of 1 year old, my selection of foods continue to increase. The other night we stopped by Ikea and mom ordered me a Swedish meatball kids meal. Boy was it yummy. The meatballs are super soft so it makes it really easy for me to eat them. Someday I will try the sauce and even some lingonberries but for now, those are mom and dads food. We decided to pickup a bag of the meatballs so a few nights later mom made a wonderfully tasty meal for all of us. Yummy yummy.

Last night I had a whole bunch of fun. My dad got some tickets for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey game so we decided to go. That was a blast I tell ya. At first, I wasn't sure what was going on because I had just woken up but soon after I really got into it. When people were cheering, yelling and clapping, I would do the same. When a referee made a bad call, I was yelling at him and waving my arms in disgust. It was a great experience.

Halloween is right around the corner. You can see from my picture that I will be a cow this year. My mom and dad are so nice and they let me pick out the costume. They held up a few different costumes and I picked this one. Regardless if I think I look cute in it, I don't need my mom embarrassing me by taking a bunch of pictures. I could just bop mom sometimes.

Last year, I was just a few weeks old when mom and dad took me out for Halloween. We stopped by a random church then and they enjoyed some food and music while I slept. This year though I think we will be going to a Radio Disney event that they are having near by. I think that it may be fun and should be interesting to see a bunch of other kids in their costumes.

Happy Halloween everyone!

No longer lonely in the back seat..

Written on October 26, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife and I always felt bad that Rylan has had to sit in the backseat of the car facing backwards. When we were given the OK to turn him around, we jumped at the opportunity.

Rylan has always been a great sleeper when we have been in the car, most likely because he had little interaction with us and basically stared at the back of the seat. I was a bit worried that when we turned him around he would begin to act up or otherwise not fall asleep on his own. This has not been the case however. He sits in his seat patiently as we drive to our destination, most of the time falling asleep during the ride.

The change has been a great one so far and it allows us to keep a closer eye on Rylan and dance with him as his favorite songs begin to play. Rylan definitely seems to enjoy it as now he can look at us and talk.

I have always had a pretty easy time getting a sleeping Rylan out of his seat but now that we have switched the seat around, that has changed. Most parents can likely agree that getting your child in and out of the seat now forward facing is a bit more tricky. This is going to take some time to get adjusted to.

Rylan's visit with Alice

Written on October 24, 2006 by Kevin.

If you look right above Rylan's head you will notice a pin. This was his birthday pin provided by the Main street cast member after we told them we were there for his birthday. This is a must have for anyone going to Disneyland for their birthday. The pin can potentially open you up to a new view on Disneyland as they will often recognize that it is your birthday and give you a bit more attention. Alice, as shown in the picture, gave Rylan her undivided attention for a good 5 minutes while they talked about all types of things including his birthday. Soon after, the Mad Hatter dropped by and joined in on the conversation. Plenty of kids and adults where standing around just waiting for their turn but they continued to talk with Rylan.

I have heard other people mention other great things that they have recieved while wearing their pin such as 'not for sale' jewels and exclusive access to certain parts of the park.

These pins can be given out for anniversary and first time visits I believe. Definetly something worth checking out.

Expressions at Disneyland

Written on October 23, 2006 by Kevin.

Happy - You could see the excitement in Rylan's face as we stepped into the park. There is no doubt in my mind that he knows where he was at and gets as excited as my wife does.

Terror - Rylan's happiness turned into fear as we stepped into the character breakfast. While he never was scared of characters in the past, just about every one now scared him. You can clearly see him trying to avoid Captain Hook by trying to hide under the table.

Exhaustion - We were only an hour or so into our first Disneyland trip day and Rylan had already passed out. It's tough for a little guy to wake up so early in the morning.

Energized - It's a bit difficult to read his expression in this photo but it is of pure excitement. This was taken at the Block Party Bash parade at California Adventure which he could not get enough of. All of the dancing and singing got him going and he was waving his arms around just like everyone else. People around us were amazed at how responsive he was. We made a point to check out the parade again our second day.

Rylan's First Cake Experience

Written on October 20, 2006 by Kevin.

Rylan had been planning before even sitting down that he would grab into that cake immediately. Before we could even put it down on the table he grabbed for it and began munching away. The little guy is sneaky.

Week in Review

Written on October 20, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Wow what a week I have had.

I knew that my birthday was going to be an exciting thing but holy smokes, I got so many presents! I had no idea what to do with them all. Dad helped me open them at the party and I think he had fun with it as well. I got this great Mickey car thing and I really like to sit on it and have mom push me around. It makes neat noises and Mickey even talks! I can't wait until next year, everyday should be like that.

After the party, we jumped in the car and took off for Disneyland. I slept most of the way but the rest of it we spent singing to the DoodleBops and Mickey's Clubhouse CDs. Dad thinks he can sing the words but he really can't. I like to just sit back and hum the words. Of course, I really like to flap my hands in the air too when my favorite songs come on.

Disneyland was fun. We went to the character breakfast but that was a bit much for me. Everytime a new character came up to me, I would turn my head and try to hide. I don't know what got into me because the past trips I had been great around them. The food was yummy though and it got us all filled up for the day. We went on a few rides but mainly shopped the first day. We went over to California Adventure just in time to see the Block Party Bash parade that they do. Oh man was that fun. I was flapping my hands so much that I wore myself out.

We went back to Disneyland and California Adventure the next day as well. This time we went on more rides and once again got to see that parade which daddy video taped for me. We also saw the fantasmic show but despite being right next to the water, I decided to sleep right through it. It was a long day you know. Luckily for me, I got to sit on Grandma's lap during most of the trip as she was in a wheelchair because of her bummed feet. Sure worked out for me.

On our way back home, we stopped by the Dinosaurs again but this time it was late and it was too dark to take any pictures. Daddy wanted to show how big I had gotten since our last trip there. That would have been neat.

Boy did we do a lot during my birthday party weekend and our Disneyland trip. One last thing that my birthday has brought was yet another tooth. My 9th tooth is now aching to pop out. Now when I say aching, I really mean aching. These dang teeth hurt I tell ya. Luckily the trip distracted me from it most of the time but now that we are home, it seems to have gotten worse. I sure wish it would finish coming in.

To everyone who came to my party and gave me such wonderful gifts, thank you a whole bunch. I know that my dad will be putting up more pictures soon so stay tuned.

Rylan's First Birthday Party

Written on October 19, 2006 by Kevin.

My wife and I have been planning this party for months now and in the blink of an eye, it was over.

Rylan's first birthday was a great success with some minor things that could have gone better. The party was a perfect size at just about 10 people which turned out great allowing Rylan to roam around without bumping into too many people. My wife and I made some great tasting appetizers which everyone seemed to enjoy.

Rylan had a massive amounts of gifts which took a pretty long time to open up. He normally is great about tearing things open so we had thought he would be able to open his gift wrap with a bit of help but he just did not want to give us a show and I ended up opening them all up. He certainly had some favorite gifts which included a Bambi stuffed animal and a Mickey Mouse sit down car which he can't get enough of. The look of excitement on his face when he is pushed around the room is amazing.

The day ended with a bit of cake and ice cream. We brought the cake out to Rylan while he sat patiently in his high chair and as soon as we put it down, he grabbed for it taking a nice handful of cake and frosting. He gobbled it up like it was the best thing he had ever eaten. He knew exactly what he was supposed to do with it. He ate the cake and ice cream while I snapped photos that we can use to tease him when he is older.

While we did plan ahead and ordered Rylan's birthday cake early, we did not think about the balloons. My wife stopped by the balloon store only to be held up by other people trying to order. She had to wait for large orders to be filled and general slow employees. We barely made it to the party in time before the guest arrived. I had to take 2 trips back home to get oddball things and ended up missing a portion of the party. We will definitely learn from our mistakes and make Rylan's birthday party next year be even better.

A years time..

Written on October 18, 2006 by Kevin.

Happy Birthday Rylan!

Week in Review

Written on October 13, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

My birthday party is tomorrow! Yippy!

I have been waiting for this day my entire life. It's going to be a blast. Mommy wrapped all of my presents but I saw them before she did that. I know that I will be definitely getting a Mickey Mouse ride-on toy. With my new expanded area, it will give me plenty of room to roam around.

Grandma came in to town yesterday and we all went out to eat and shopping. She bought me a whole bunch of things for my birthday and even gave one of those push pop toys that you can see in my picture of the day. As you can tell by my face, It's awesome! I had been wanting one of these for a long time. I sure am glad that grandma is here to celebrate my birthday.

Shortly after the party of mine, we will be heading off to Disneyland. When we get to the park, my dad said he would get me a birthday sticker because its my birthday and cast members are super nice if you have a sticker. I think that grandma is going to take me to the character breakfast. I have never been there before but I think I will get to see a whole bunch of my favorite characters and even get pictures!

I know this entire weekend is going to be a blast. I can't wait until I get to unwrap some of my presents at the party. I may need my mommies help on some things but I think I can manage unwrapping a lot of them.

Hmm... what else? We will be going to Disneyland park on Sunday and Monday so my dad wants me to let everyone know that posts will likely not be happening until Wednesday which is my actual birthday. He also wants me to let you know that a whole bunch of new pictures will be up shortly.

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Unbirthday to everyone else!

You know you are a father when...

Written on October 12, 2006 by Kevin.

...you are playing kids music in your car. Rylan certainly has his favorites when it comes to morning television shows. These shows would definitely include the DoodleBops and Mickey's Clubhouse along with a few other Disney channel shows. We have been on a hunt for a few weeks now trying to finish up Rylan's birthday gifts and we came across both a DoodleBops and Mickey's Clubhouse CD.

We decided that it would be fun to give Rylan his Mickey's Clubhouse CD a week or so early and have begun playing it for him in the car. He has already been great while in the car and either sleeps or keeps to himself. He now gets energized when some of his favorite tunes come on. He can't get enough of the opening and closing theme songs for the Mickey show and regardless of whether he is in the car or at home, he begins to wave his arms around.

We will be giving Rylan his DoodleBops CD at his birthday party on Saturday and expect the same reaction when it comes on for the first time. He really enjoys it when my wife plays the music for him off of their website so we are certain he will enjoy it in the car as well. With his first birthday approaching and him at 20lbs now, we are looking forward to turning the car seat around and being able to dance with Rylan. It's one of the many fun things you get to do as a parent.

Review: SuperYard XT

Written on October 11, 2006 by Kevin.

I'd love to see a pic of the entertainment center surrounded by the gate because I'm confused...either you have a small center or a really big gate.

It has been a while since I have done a product review so when Jessica was interested in what type of gate we have, I figured this would be a great time.

We had purchased the SuperYard XT fence a while back and have used it ever since. We initially started with keeping Rylan within just a couple feet from us and slowly over time have expanded him outwards. He is now roaming the entire downstairs minus the kitchen. The fence is now being used around our entertainment center to keep him out of those pesky drawers and electronics. It works perfectly for us around the entertainment center and because it is sturdy, we don't have to worry about him pulling it over (atleast yet).

We purchased the SuperYard XT fence from Babies'R'Us which is 26" high and encloses up to 18.5 square feet. It can be used in all types of shapes and sizes and has really been great for us. It takes just a few moments to completely redo the shape but is tough enough that we believe Rylan will not be able to unlatch it any time soon. The fence is made for both inside and outside and even comes with a carrying strap. Expansion pieces can be purchased which can extend it out to 34 square feet.

I know when Christmas time comes around, this fence will have a new home. It will be placed around the Christmas tree to keep Rylan from having too much fun.

We really couldn't be happier with this fence. It has worked extremely well for us and we know we have a lot more time with it as well. It is likely one of my wife's best baby item she has ever picked out.

Rylan's expanding world..

Written on October 9, 2006 by Kevin.

When Rylan began crawling, we purchased a gate system which has worked out great. It has allowed us to keep him contained and out of arms reach of otherwise bad things.

As the months went on, we slowly pushed out the gate until it had met its limits. We decided over the weekend to go ahead and remove the gate entirely and let him roam the bottom floor of our home. We now have the stairs and kitchen gated off but otherwise, he is able to walk around all that he wants. We have also had to battle with Rylan playing with our entertainment center and with my wife's brilliant idea of using the gate around it, we no longer have to worry about Rylan turning off the TV or pulling on the DVD player tray.

With the expanded freedom, Rylan is in heaven. He now walks around from one side of the room to the other. I don't think he could be much happier. He is beginning to work on running but it seems that his body doesn't always want to cooperate and he ends up tumbling down. He is definitely making quick progress of it though. It's only time before my wife gets to chase him around during the day.

Week in Review

Written on October 6, 2006 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Has it already been a week? Yikes.

So, seeing as how well I am walking, Mom and Dad have begun letting me walk around the mall. It's really fun I tell ya. I stopped by a women's bra store last night and just stared in there. Mommy and daddy where laughing a whole bunch. I don't see why it was so funny though. People walking by watched me as I made my way through the mall and they all gave me a cute smile. I guess peoples eyes are attracted to a baby walking or maybe they just were waiting for me to fall on my bum.

Speaking of bum, who needs a diaper. I certainly don't. I like to rip off my diaper now when mom isn't looking and start running around the room. She turns around to a big surprise and me smiling as big as possible. Why do I have this diaper on anyways?

Just 8 more days until my Mickey themed birthday party. It's going to be exciting. I wonder what types of gifts everyone will pick out for me. I think I am going to like them all. Soon after the party, dad will be driving us up to Disneyland and then we get to go there for 2 days. Oh man oh man. I can't wait until I see Mickey Mouse again. He sure was fun last time when we both sat on the floor. I wonder if he will do that again.

I am going to go back to getting ready for my birthday party. I have a lot of work to do so that everything is perfect. I like helping mom out.

Happy Friday.

Mall play area rant.

Written on October 5, 2006 by Kevin.

We have been taking Rylan to the mall frequently over the past couple of months so that he could get plenty of walking time. As mentioned in the past, we feel that this has helped him significantly. He now roams the area by himself at his own pace.

The play are is designated for children under 42" tall but my wife and I are always commenting on the fact that there are older children as well. Some of these kids were atleast 10-13 years old, definitely surpassing the maximum height. These kids likely weighting more than 3 times Rylan's weight running around and jumping off of things. Call it old age kicking in but this is a disaster waiting to happen. My wife and I are always confused on how this type of play area would be fun for such older kids. We don't understand that the parents themselves don't understand that the area was made for babies/toddlers and not their over-energized kids.

Yesterday, we took Rylan back to the mall during the afternoon and we were surprised at how many children where there. One thing we noticed was that there were numerous kids ranging from 10-13 running around. These kids just didn't fit in here and I noticed multiple other people starring at them likely thinking the same thing.

I decided to stand up for all of the little kiddos and when one of the girls tried to push me out of the way, I decided to stand firm and let her run into me at which time I told her that this play area was not for her and that she was taller than the sign says she can be. She acknowledged me and said she knew. Soon after, her and her friends took off making noise in other parts of the mall. I felt a bit of accomplishment getting her to leave and being the only parent willing to stand up for my kid's safety. Why did all of the other parents just sit there? More importantly is why were those kids not in school at the time?

Rylan finished up our mall trip with alot of interaction with other kids. Normally he sits back as other kids come up to him but this last time he was chasing after other kids. He saw a young girl holding a sippy cup and went after it. The look on her face was priceless.

Food in arms reach...

Written on October 3, 2006 by Kevin.

As Rylan has gotten older, we have had the opportunity to take him out to restaurants that in the past would cause issues. We prepare ourselves with plenty of finger foods and other favorites of his.

One thing that I have noticed recently however is that all of the waiters and waitresses seem to not realize that placing food in front of a child is not a good idea. While we bring snacks for Rylan, we have been serving him off of the kids menu lately. When the waitress brings out the food, they place the food in front of him as they would any other customer. While it is nice that they treat Rylan the same as they would anyone else, placing the food in front of him is definitely not the best idea. As soon as the food is placed in front of him, he grabs for it. He doesn't know better and it seems the waitresses don't either.

The same idea goes for restaurants that provide children with a play mat and crayons. I personally don't know of any children as young as Rylan that are capable of using crayons and not just trying to eat them. Now don't get me wrong, we love the play mats because they can keep him entertained quite well but the crayons are certainly something we take away quickly.

Now I know that assuming things is wrong but I believe that the waitresses that place items in front of the children do not likely have children of their own. It is very clear to me from my own experiences, that as a new parent, you learn things quickly. As a parent, these types of things seem like common sense but it sure appears that it may not be the case.

Have anyone else experienced this?

Museum Day

Written on October 2, 2006 by Kevin.

We took advantage of Museum Day this past Saturday which, for those that didn't know, is when a large amount of the museums around the nation open their doors up for free.

We took a short trip to the Heard museum which displays Native American items. We quickly realized that Native American art and history is not interesting to me or my wife. We quickly breezed through the museum while letting Rylan take in all of the new things to look at.

We did find a booth in which children could make a doll out of fabric and yarn. My wife enjoyed this it seems and decided to make Rylan one. It turned out great but it seems that Rylan was not as impressed and he only wanted it to lay on the ground. While the majority of the displays are definitely adult oriented, there was a small room that could possibly be considered for kids. In this room, there were a few activities that Rylan was just too young for so instead, we hung out in a canoe for a while so Rylan could burn off some of his energy.

While we did not necessarily find Native American history entertaining, it was a nice change. I hear many father bloggers mention museums as a way to entertain your kid while getting out of the house but from what I can determine, there are not too many museums here that are kid friendly. I guess we will need to continue looking for places...