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Big Big World

Written on May 31, 2007 by Kevin.

On PBS, they have a show called Big Big World which Rylan also enjoys. This show is a bit odd and when you see it for the first time you may understand why. The sloth looks like he is some pot smoking hippie. The way he talks and walks is similar to the kids of the 60's. Good times.

The show though isn't too bad and it certainly can grow on you. Their website has a bunch of coloring pages and other activities for the kids. Check it out.

I like to move it! Move it!

Written on May 30, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

TrueBlue™ Blueberry Blackberry

Written on May 29, 2007 by Kevin.

Everyday you hear another report saying that one food or another is bad for you and your kids. My wife and I have made a conscious effort to try and eat better. Our intake of soda is next to none and things like trans fat and high fructose corn syrup have been minimized. We believe this is also setting Rylan up for better health as well.

When Dan, from the TrueBlue™ company, contacted me about sampling and reviewing their fruit juice cocktail I was a bit thrown off but quickly saw the benefits(blueberries are considered a superfood) for me and my family. Last week we received 8 bottles of TrueBlue™ Blueberry Blackberry juice and quickly jumped into it. TrueBlue™ contains no high fructose corn syrup. Instead, they use cane sugar which is great alternative.

I sat Rylan down and made him a cup. He was reluctant at first to try something new but it only took a bit of time before he was gulping it down. This stuff is great. Many juices on the market have a very strong fruity flavor but this one is not that way. The best way that I can describe it is that it is very light feeling and not thick. The flavor is suttle and perfect for those who do not like super sugary tasting drinks.

It has been less than a week now since we received our bottles and looking in the pantry shows that we have already drank half of the 8 bottles. As all fruity drinks do, this juice does have a decent amount of sugar at 26g. With 25% less sugar and calories than other juices though, this is a healthier alternative. In an 8oz glass, you receive 100% of your Vitamin C intake which is always beneficial especially around cold season.

Overall, we are extremely pleased with the TrueBlue™ Blueberry Blackberry juice. I look forward to tracking this product down at our local grocery stores and trying some of the other flavors including Blueberry Green Tea and Blueberry Pomegranate. Click here for a free $1.00 off coupon and if you cannot seem to find a TrueBlue™ at your local stores click here for a bit of help.

While we will still not give Rylan too much juice (he loves simple water), I feel OK giving him a cup of this TrueBlue™ juice daily. The other juices on the market are filled with so many unnecessary things that it can make you cringe.

I want to thank Dan from TrueBlue™ for giving me the opportunity to review the fruit juice. Rylan always loves trying out new things and this appears to have gotten the thumbs up from him. My wife and I both loved it as well. The only negative that I found to this juice was that I cannot yet find it in my local stores. With as many as 4 awards won last year, I am confused why its not on every markets shelves.

Week in Review

Written on May 25, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

So this week started out with a bit of a bummer when we finally gave away our last kitty. I haven't been the same since. Every time that we walk upstairs I point to where the kitty used to be but he is no longer there. Dad feels terrible, I can tell.

Mom has been having her cravings for donuts lately and I have been trying my best to sneak a few. They are really good and I know why my mom is craving them. I think I may be having a baby too because I want the donuts just as much as she does now.

Oh man, I am loving my new haircut. I really liked how my hair went all crazy before but this new look is very clean cut. I look very sophisticated. It also keeps my head a bit cooler when we go outside. It's really hot here in Arizona.

My baby sister is coming along quickly it seems. Yesterday mom had me feel her belly and then all of a sudden my sister kicked. At first I was thrown off but then I stuck my hand back again and felt it again.It was amazing. The look on my face was priceless my mom said.

Mom and dad found recently that the Disney store is selling stuffed Huey, Dewey and Louie . They had been talking about buying them for a while and they just found a sale going on and they picked all 3 of them up. They took forever to pick them out because they each had holes and other issues with them. When we got home my mom noticed she missed one of the holes so now we need to return it.. grrr!

Speaking of grrrr! I cannot get enough of this pirate mania. Everywhere I look I see pirates and skulls. In fact, whenever I hear the word pirate or see the POTC skull I say grrrr! My dad taught me it and I really get a kick out of it. I know that he is planning on making me a pirate room in a few years but I may ask that we make it sooner than later. I am a true pirate!

Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

I am a cousin!

Written on May 23, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

I am a cousin as of yesterday at around 4:30pm. My dad is going to take us all to see my aunt later today so it's going to be super exciting. I have never seen a day old baby before so it should be really fun. It makes me want my little sister even more now. Maybe I can get my dad to take a few pictures if they say it is ok.

The baby was 8lbs 11oz which was even more than I weighed. We both were 22 inches long though. I wonder what he looks like. Boy, I can't wait.

Bit of a sad day..

Written on May 22, 2007 by Kevin.

Rylan, like many kids, was simply fascinated by our cats. One of his first words was even kitty. He would be the first to spot a cat whether they were running down the stairs or one was shown on television. A loud "kitty" could be heard throughout the house as if he was bursting at the seams to say hello.

Unfortunately, with our home situation and us likely needing to make some quick moves while selling our house and moving into a new one, we have decided that it was best that we get rid of our last cat. I tracked down someone at my work that was interested and yesterday we took him over.

It was very clear that Rylan did not want the kitty to go and as I tried to talk to him before we left about giving the kitty a better home he could only shake his head. He looked heart broken and that was certainly hard to take.

We got to the ladies home and brought the kitty and Rylan inside. We wanted Rylan to see that the cat was going to be at a new home and that he would not be seeing him any longer. Again, you could tell that he was a bit sad and he couldn't even muster up the strength to give him a final wave goodbye.

I told Rylan that we would make it up to him someday at which time my wife drilled in his head that he was to remember that so when he asked for a cat or dog a few years from now I would be forced to get it. What have I got myself into?

Lucky for Rylan, his grandma now has 3 cats which he can always visit when he needs his dose of cat hair. While it was a sad day indeed, we are relieved that we will no longer be given small pieces of litter that Rylan mysteriously finds throughout the house.

Rylan's Second Haircut

Written on May 21, 2007 by Kevin.

He did extremely well geting his hair cut was kept entertained by watching a Jay Jay the Jet Plane DVD. We took him to a new kid friendly haircut place called Snip n Snap. They did a great job and made it a fun experience.

Here is the before and after hair.. What a difference. He doesn't even look like the same kiddo.

Week in Review

Written on May 18, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Yikes, we are all battling another cold or really bad allergies. I think it is a cold though because I had a bit of a fever last night. My nose has been running nonstop. A funny thing did happen though, my dad came over to pick me up and bam! I had a big ol' booger stuck to my face that I had managed to get out. It was massive and quite funny.

Yesterday we went to another doctor checkup for my mom. They said the baby is doing well and that my mom passed her diabetes test. Yay! Go mom! All of the worker ladies loved me there and they really thought it was cute when we were walking down the hallway and I was holding onto my dad's hand. One of them said she wanted to pinch my cheeks. I don't think so.

Sometime soon we will get a chance to have one more ultrasound they said. They said they wanted the extra one because I was a big baby and they wanted to see how my little sister was doing. I am excited to see her again and being so close to the end, she should be super clear for me to see. It's going to be exciting.

Mother's day was great. We went out to eat with my Grandma to a nice restaurant and I got to fling milk around. I didn't know what was going to happen when I pulled the straw out of the cup so I am claiming ignorance. Sorry Grandma for getting you wet. We got Grandma a pearl necklace that she had always wanted. I think my mom said she almost had a tear in her eye. I think we picked out a good gift. As for my mom, me and my sister got her something kind of embarrassing but I'll just say that it will be great for her when she is feeding my little sister.

Father's day is right around the corner now as well and I had mom pick out a few things for my dad. I need a bit of time to throw everything together but I think he is going to really enjoy it.

Books, or bookay as I like to say, are still the hottest thing going on here. I love when my dad reads to me. The other day we stopped by the library and picked up some DVDs of some books like the Richard Scary books. I like them a lot.

I guess that's it for now. It was a pretty eventful week. I hope I can get over this cold soon. Have a good weekend.

30 weeks and counting..

Written on May 17, 2007 by Kevin.

The past 6 months have really flown by. Life with Rylan has kept us all very occupied and we have watched the pregnancy progress very quickly. Rylan's pregnancy seemed to drag on forever. Couple that with what appeared to be a massive amount of blood drawn, the first pregnancy seemed to be much worse.

Her cravings have recently turned towards chocolate covered donuts. A much less expensive craving rather than Baskin Robbin's ice cream cakes. This would make anyone happy.

Braxton hicks are certainly causing disturbances for her and it seems that they have come earlier in this pregnancy. Back pain can be quickly caused by basic movements such as rolling over in bed. This problem did not seem to occur as badly with Rylan.

Today we will be going in for another checkup. If it is like every other checkup, everything will be great. Another bit of update coming tomorrow..

Hey, I'm just asking..

Written on May 16, 2007 by Kevin.

Could DaddyClay from DadLabs.com be the Oxi Clean guy? I'll let you decide.

Always on my mind..

Written on May 15, 2007 by Kevin.

Over the past couple of months, I have attempted to create myself a routine and it begins with toast in the morning after I get to work. Plop my bread in the toaster, wait my 60 seconds and out comes the toast. But there is always something missing..

At our local grocery store, they were selling a Mickey Mouse toaster which toasts Mickey's head onto your bread and plays the Mickey Mouse theme song when it's done. Rylan gets a kick out of this thing and he gets excited when he hears the music playing. In fact, he loves to dance to it now. 5 Seconds of pure happiness as far as Rylan is concerned.

Back to my toast, sure the toast tastes the same at work but what is missing is the music at the end. My mind is so used to hearing that music that now I am a bit disappointed when I do not hear it. My first thought is that it must be broken so I just play it in my head instead.

People talk about how their work life interferes with their home life but I think I may have that backwards. The toaster is now such a part of our family that I feel bad when I don't hear the music. It's a good reason to think of the family back at home though. Even if you know they are still sleeping while you are at work at 6:30am. Dang lucky.

Haikus for my mom

Written on May 13, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

9 months of trauma
Is worth every penny
When you see my smile.

You are the best mom
I love when you make me meals
You put much love in

Happy Mothers Day
Special day for you it is
Hope you like your gift

Happy mother's Day Mom!

Week in Review

Written on May 11, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Well the big news of the week turned into a bummer. A lady was really interested in our home and was just about to sign on the dotted line and decided to move on and look for a different house. Phewy! We will just need to wait until the next one..

My dad called our new home builder and they told us that our new house has started so that is really exciting. We drove out there immediately and wanted to check it out. It wasn't too exciting though because all it was was dirt and pipes. It's a start though. We did get to walk through a nearly completed model just like ours though and I got to see how my bedroom will look. That part was pretty exciting. I think the house will be very nice for me to take over.

I caught mom looking at the Playhouse Disney Live! website. They are coming to town in October to do a show. Rumor is that me and my sister will be going to that one. I am super excited because it has both Mickey Mouse and the Little Einsteins. These are my favorite characters.

My dad used that transformer website to transform my picture. I can tell you right now that I will not be looking like that as a teenager. That guy is scary! It's hard for me even to look at it.

The baby shower last weekend got me really thinking about my baby sister to be. I really like the name Kaitlyn and I am excited to see her but I am not sure how things are going to change. I like being the only kiddo but I think it will be nice to have another baby in the house. I hope when I move into my own room I won't be able to hear her crying. I need my cutey sleep.

Mother's day is right around the corner and I had my dad buy something very supporting for my mom. My dad picked up my mom something from Kaitlyn as well. I think she will be very happy with them.

I guess that's it for now. Have a good weekend and happy mother's day to all of the moms out there.

The Perception Laboratory's Face Transformer

Written on May 10, 2007 by Kevin.

Transform your own pictures here.

Minor changes make big differences..

Written on May 9, 2007 by Kevin.

Rylan has always been a great eater for us. He will just about try anything and despite some wicked faces he may give us, he tends to go back for more. I can already see the signs of a foodie in training.

My wife recently noticed that Rylan was no longer eating grilled cheese sandwiches that we occasionally would make for him. In the past he liked them but something changed and now he isn't attracted to them the same way. I took this as a challenge and wanted to know if I could change it up in a slight way, would it have an effect on him. The other night I tried it out. I made him his sandwich and then punched bite size circles out of it with an Ikea apple corer. Presto! Rylan was interested again.

Part of parenthood is playing the games that counter your children's actions. This is a perfect example of how something that was boring turned into a good time again. I find it fun trying to think outside of the box to help Rylan stay entertained with things. I understand that this new take on a sandwich won't last forever but I am ready for my next challenge whenever it comes up.

Have any creative ways that you get your kids to eat food? Post a comment and let everyone know. Thanks.

Mickey Mouse Chalkboard

Written on May 8, 2007 by Kevin.

My wife and I always seem to be thinking up new ways to decorate the kid's rooms when we move into our new home soon. We are moving forward with our Mickey Mouse themed room for Rylan and was looking for added things to do on a budget. Welcome the Mickey Mouse chalkboard.

My wife initially came up with the idea of making a chalkboard for each of the kids and I think I may have been the one who took it a bit further and suggested a Mickey themed one. The project was quite easy overall and very affordable.

I started off by finding the design that I wanted. This was one of the most difficult parts as images on the Internet can be difficult to find at times. After finding the Mickey head design, I blew it up using BlockPoster.com and this became the template. We headed over to our local Home Depot and picked up some cheap wood and used the template to cut it out. After a bit of sanding, wood filling and additional sanding, it was time to paint. We used some chalkboard spray paint that can be picked up at hobby stores for under $5 and gave it a spray.

The next day came around and it was finished. Another project had come to an end. This entire project cost under $10 for 2 Mickey shaped chalkboards. We plan on making the second one the same way but adding a bow at the top to be similar to Minnie Mouse. Overall the project went well. After applying the paint, I see my mistakes more clearly and will work harder on the second chalkboard. I think the kids are going to love using these custom chalkboards. Maybe they will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Mark that project off the list.

Lunch Celebration

Written on May 7, 2007 by Kevin.

On Saturday, instead of celebrating Cinco de Mayo, we went out to eat with the grandparents and my wife's aunt & uncle. Rylan's grandpa wanted to throw the new baby a small celebration and it turned out great. It was a very relaxing lunch which allowed the grandparents to see each other since it is such a rare thing. Kaitlyn received a bunch of great gifts that we will most certainly use. My wife is extremely excited about all of the little girl clothing.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come. We appreciate you wanting to help celebrate Kaitlyn, the princess. She already has that nickname given to her by her grandpa.

The cat is out of the bag...

Written on May 5, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

We met up earlier today to celebrate my little sister and mom decided to tell everyone her name. Kaitlyn Juliana. I really like it and everyone else seemed to as well.

That's all for now. I am going back to enjoying my weekend. It has been great so far.

Week in Review

Written on May 4, 2007 by Rylan & Kaitlyn.

Huge week for me here. I have been a big thinker lately and I can feel it in my brain. It's about to explode! I have learned so much this week.

Lets start with my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheeks, tummy and butt. Yes. I know them all and can point them out with ease. It was a piece of cake learning those things. I like to grab my tummy the most because I like to imagine it has a baby inside of it like my mom.

Speaking of my baby sister, we went for a checkup yesterday and everything is still looking good. I got to hear the heartbeat again. It's difficult for a little guy like me to sit patiently in a doctors room so dad has to work especially hard to keep me focused. I really like it when he distracts me by blowing on my neck. He makes the visit fun.

As my dad mentioned earlier in the week, books are huge right now. I love reading them with my dad. He taught me how to lay down on my back and then he laid down next to me. It's a fun way to read together. I like to snuggle up with him and sometimes even bonk heads.

This weekend we will be attending a lunch to celebrate my baby sister. We are going to a spaghetti place that I really have liked. They even serve ice cream at the end! You can't beat that. I will get to see most of my grandparents so that is going to be exciting. I will be a little bummed if my sister gets some nifty gifts but I understand why she is getting them. Maybe I will get my own gift. That would be great.

I guess that is it for now. Have a good weekend and a safe Cinco De Mayo.

My wife the knitter...

Written on May 3, 2007 by Kevin.

My wife and I both have been having urges to make something for Rylan or the new baby. She has been just recently finished up 2 of her big projects. She learned over the last year or so how to knit and she found a great design that makes a great looking baby blanket.

She first started with the baby girls blanket and Rylan loved it so much that he asked for his own. While she was making it, Rylan thought it was a game and would try and hide under it. As she continued to work on it and it got longer, you could tell that he was getting more excited. Once finished, he now has a new favorite blanket to play peekaboo with. He seems to enjoy looking through the little holes and then pop out. Today's picture of the day shows Rylan enjoying his new blanket. He now sleeps with it every night. He couldn't be happier with it.

My wife really impressed me with her newly discovered knitting skills. Fighting through the hand pains that knitting causes, she now has a great looking blanket for each of the kids that should last a long time. I know they will appreciate them one day.

Rylan's Water Park Visits.

Written on May 2, 2007 by Kevin.

A few weekends ago, my wife and her mother went out shopping for the new baby. It was just me and Rylan. A bit of bonding time. After asking what he wanted to do and getting no response, I figured I would come up with something myself. I decided on a local park which happened to have a small water park with it. We were not prepared so I held onto Rylan the entire visit and didn't let him get too wet. He loved when the water would spray up at him and he couldn't get enough of touching it.

Just last weekend, we had run out of ideas on things to do and were looking for something to keep Rylan entertained. We tried the water park again but this time we were prepared. We dressed Rylan up in his swimming trunks, popped on a new pair of water shoes and made the short trip. The water park was crowded with kids trying to beat the Arizona heat. They were running around like the world was coming to an end so after I put Rylan down, I was right by him at all times. It took a good while before he warmed up to the water but eventually he started walking around wanting to do his own thing.

We soon realized that where ever you sit you were going to get wet from atleast the mist so I decided to go ahead and just get wet myself, pants and all. I walked Rylan around to each of the water activities while we both got drenched. I walked him over across the park and he decided that he wanted to come back over to his mom and in doing so we walked right between 2 water cannons and they proceeded to attack me it seemed. Thanks alot kids.

Granted, Rylan was one of the youngest but I was the only parent that was actually playing with their kids in the water. I had no problems with getting wet while everyone else sat back and ran from the thought of getting a bit of water on them. Eventually, Rylan should see how much more involved I am than a lot of parents and I hope that he appreciates that. I give my wife a pass card for not running around with us because she is pregnant so please do not think I am talking about her as well. I take pride in knowing that Rylan is having as much fun as humanly possible, maybe that is because I am having fun as well.

Reading time is all the time...

Written on May 1, 2007 by Kevin.

Over the past couple of years we have been accumulating a plethora of children's books from thrift stores, garage sales and even some from antique stores. Rylan never really took to me attempting to read to him until recently. For months I have been trying to read to Rylan but he never could sit still long enough.

Over the past couple of weeks there have been many changes in Rylan. We have seen him catch onto things faster than ever and he has really begun to enjoy reading. Well, for me to read to him. Reading time is any time as far as Rylan is concerned. He is always up for a good story. This is especially true at night before bed and at the crack of dawn on a weekend. This last weekend I got woken up each morning by getting hit in the head with one of his favorite books. He is still learning that story time is only between certain hours, specifically when mom and dad are awake and alert.

Bedtime has been postponed now because of his addiction to reading. He lines me up a stack of books and that stack never seems to get any smaller. He is always piling on more. He loves for me to read different stories rather than the same one over and over again. He can't get enough of the Disney Babies board books. 'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly' is another one of his favorites. It's an interesting story to say the least.

Rylan loves to track me down, book in hand, and begs for me to read him 1 more story and then one more, and another. If I head to another room, he comes knocking on the door with one of his books. There are many signs here in Arizona that ask you to read to your kid for at least 15 minutes per day but Rylan could listen for 24 hours.

With a kid, you quickly notice that they love to do certain things with each parent. My job is reading and he just can't seem to enjoy it as much when my wife reads to him. If I try to pass the book over to her, he won't go for it and just gives me the cute eyes instead. I occasionally read to him and have to remember all of the other parents that talk about skipping pages to get through the book but I have to tell myself that it is for the best and I can suffer another 30 seconds to make Rylan happy. In turn, we are all happy.

My wife laughs at me because I always commented on reading to Rylan and how he wasn't interested. Now that he is obsessed, she thinks its funny that I can't get away from it. It's a job worth taking.