Catching Up

It appears that I’ve been neglecting my blog for quite some time.  The last draft in the cache is from just after Halloween… and truthfully, I’m even more behind than that! In September, Ryder turned one.  A business trip opportunity arose for Ryan, and it turned into an early birthday celebration for Ryder as well.  We got to have a lovely, intimate, low-key birthday party in my parents’ backyard in California.  And even though it was three weeks early, Ryder had a great time seeing everyone and being loved on and pampered.  He got to to swimming for the first time (which wasn’t exactly his favorite activity) and played with lots of fun new toys.  I made Boston Cream Cupcakes, and Ryder got a sugar-free carrot cupcake with no frosting.  I know, I know… I’m “that mom” who won’t give her kid sugar, even on his special day.  But he loved his cupcake, and I’m totally secure in my “that mom-ness.”  🙂 Ryder’s first Halloween wasn’t really all that memorable.  It was warm, which would’ve been important if we were braving the neighborhoods begging for candy trick-or-treating.  But alas, he was too tiny to care (not that it hurt my feelings!) so we stayed home and hid in the basement in the hopes that pumpkin-toting goblins would skip our house and move on to the next.  Before we went underground, we had fun with a photo shoot in a cute sleeper and hat from Grandma Barr.

Smiling in his sleep 🙂

This time, however, Ryder had just turned one.  I still didn’t really care to spend a gazillion dollars on a costume he’d wear for an hour to our church’s Harvest Party BUT I found an adorable pair of pj’s that looked like a fireman’s uniform.  They were half-price (BONUS!) so I snatched them up for $10, added a plastic hat and some boots and had an awesome costume.  He LOVES that goofy hat, and must have it on while he’s playing at home, or something’s just not right.  :)  We enjoyed a fun gathering with our Little Smiles group (from, and also the church party.

In October, we also discovered that I was pregnant.  However, upon our seeing our first (early) ultrasound, we were devastated to learn that this baby would be born straight into Heaven.  After going through five unsuccessful rounds of Cytotec (a medication to help my body pass everything naturally), I still had to have my fourth D&C just before Thanksgiving. My mom, sister-in-law and niece came out for a lovely visit in October as well.  We spent a lot of time lounging in our pj’s and browsing the aisles of the fabric store.  It was fun to see the kids play together and try to figure each other out. In November, we flew to California for the Thanksgiving holiday, and turned half it into a business trip since Ryan attended a few meetings at Gallo while we were there.  It was a good thing we had to extend our trip since we all got the stomach flu the night before we were originally supposed to return to Chicago.  We were lucky to have Ryan’s parents (who somehow managed to escape illness) to look after Ryder while we slept all day.  UGH!  Other than the flu, we had a great time visiting with family.  This year, we started a new tradition… instead of wasting Thanksgiving morning just sittin’ around, we decided to burn off some extra calories and help hungry people in the process.  Joined by some of the Shafar family, we ran the Stockton Turkey Trot.  It was a beautiful day, and the scenery was great since we ran around the waterfront and into the Ports stadium. There were 18 of us around the table for Thanksgiving dinner… what a blessing it was!  Ryder enjoyed it more this year too, since he could actually EAT the food instead of just staring at it.  🙂 Three weeks later, we flew back to CA for Christmas.  We had a great time at the park, visiting with family, and of course opening presents.  Ryder was a busy little elf on Christmas morning.  He reorganized all the presents under the tree, and then helped us rip them all open.  The weekend following Christmas, we had our annual Clan McFarland gathering where all my aunts, uncles and cousins get together.  Then, for the second year in a row, we celebrated our anniversary on a plane headed back to Chi-town. We rang in the New Year with a quiet evening at home, recovering from our trip.  We got up early the next morning and headed into the City to run the New Year’s 5K.  I say “run” with a grain of salt.  We were on snow-covered ground in sub-zero temperatures, and ended up walking most of the way because my tired body just couldn’t hack it.  BUT we finished it, and wear our shirts proudly.  🙂

Our only other big news for January was that we had to get a new furnace.  Definitely not a highlight, but necessary anyway since our old one was slowly leaking carbon monoxide.  And of course, it had to stop working on a day when the forecasted high was around 10 degrees (not including wind chill).  Never a dull moment around here!

So here we are, ten days into February… So far, Ryan has officially registered for the Chicago Marathon, Ryder developed his first ear infection, and I FINALLY got baptized… more on that in another post.

Whew!  Finally caught up… quick and dirty, but it does the job.

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