Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
-- Queen

This weekend marked another monumental occasion in the life of Camden Foster - his first bike ride!

For those of you that may not know, Ryan and I love to ride our bikes. We've gone on many vacations solely for the purpose of riding our bikes...from the Virginia Creeper Trail to the Cowboy Trail to the Wabash Trail Taco Ride and several routes in between. We also ride our bikes in various "bike rallies" like the Corporate Cup in Omaha and (a first for us) our upcoming ride in the 6th annual WildRide! Against Cancer on May 16 where we'll be riding in memory of Appie, Papaw Jay and Papaw Foster and in honor of LaLa! This is a fundraiser benefiting Richardson Regional Cancer Center... the satellite clinic Ryan works in and home of the Lance Armstrong Shaped Beam Surgery program (which is a funny name to me, b/c it sounds like the beam is shaped like Lance Armstrong...). :o) We're pretty excited to get back on the bikes after a year+ hiatus because of me being preggo and then Camden not being "big enough" to ride...until now.

To get those bike legs warmed up, we went for a ride around the neighborhood this weekend. We were worried that Camden might have the same initial reaction he did to the swing in the backyard...sheer terror. But as soon as we strapped him in his seat, he was schooching back and forth like he was telling us, "c'mon, let's go!" so we did just that. Here are a couple of pics and a video of the first big ride...

CMF First Bike Ride from Mandy Jo on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


A little known fact about me...I am a seven year old trapped in a 31 year old's body. Let me explain thorough a couple of examples...

In the summer of '07, Ryan took a business trip to Minneapolis and I tagged along. Most 30-something wives tag along to visit another city's museums, art districts, fine dining establishments, etc. I tagged along because Ryan said we'd come back home trough DeSmet, South Dakota. What's in DeSmet, you ask? Why, the homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder - the main character in my most treasured book collection ever! When I was a kid I used to get in trouble all the time for hiding under my covers and reading all about Laura and her adventures in the unsettled west. I loved to imagine that I was Laura - playing with my corncob babydoll, grinding my own flour, etc. (Even though I am certain I wouldn't last 1o minutes in house with no indoor plumbing and winters in South Dakota with no central heat would kill me for sure...but it's fun to imagine.)

So after a few days in Minneapolis (one of which we found out we were having Camden), I could finally stop imagning what it was like and actually experience it for real - me and all the other little 5-9 year old girls on the guided tour. It was awesome...I made my own corncob baby doll, I ground flour and I even got to drive the covered wagon! The couple of days we spent in DeSmet were some of the most fun days of my life - someday I hope to have a little girl who loves Laura as much as I do and I'll get to take her there too.

Fast forward to the delivery of our first child. I'm in the hospital and labor is beginning - I am trying to decide what to have for last "non-mommy meal." UNMC actually had pretty good food so it wasn't that I dreaded "hospital food" it was just that nothing sounded good - not the chicken tenders, not the cheeseburger, none of the salads...untill I flip to the last page and there they are...Spaghettios. You need to understand...I have a pretty refined palate...I love a good sushi roll, I love a good aged steak, I love a glass of really good wine...but I also love Spaghettios. When I eat them, it's just a nostalgic moment for me. They are always served with a grilled cheese sandwich (cut on the diagonal, of course) and a glass of chocolate milk. As I ate my lunch that day, I told Ryan that while I was looking forward to raising our child, to staying home with him everyday and having so many opportunities to teach him about the things around him and about how much God loves him...I was also looking forward to the day when we could share our first bowl of Spaghettios together.

Today was the day...and he truly is my child - I think he ate more than I did. He at least wore more than I ate. I have lots and lots of things on my list that I can't wait to share with my child - but check this one off...we love Spaghettios!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Before and After

I am not going to use this blog to post cutesy stories and chain letters. If you know anything at all about me, you know I am not a fan of most of those things anyway - I'm pretty certain God's blessings in my life are not dependent on whether or not I "forward this message to 10 people in the next 5 minutes". But my good friend Sarah, a mom of twins that are exactly one year to the day older than Camden, sent me this and I just had to post it here for you to read. Almost every one of them is already true for me...and the ones that aren't yet are just waiting to happen. Enjoy!

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful to have been born the USA, the most powerful free democracy in the world.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for Velcro tennis shoes. As well as saving valuable time, now I can hear the sound of my son taking off his shoes -- which gives me three extra seconds to activate the safety locks on the back seat windows right before he hurls them out of the car and onto the freeway.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the recycling program that will preserve our natural resources and prevent the overloading of landfills.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for swim diapers because every time my son wanders into water in plain disposables, he ends up wearing a blimp the size of, say, New Jersey, on his

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for fresh, organic vegetables.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for microwaveable macaroni and cheese -- without which my children would be surviving on about three bites of cereal and their own spit.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the opportunity to obtain a college education and have a higher quality of life than my ancestors.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful to finish a complete thought without being interrupted.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for holistic medicine and natural herbs.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for pediatric cough syrup guaranteed to "cause drowsiness" in young children.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for all of the teachers who had taught, encouraged, and nurtured me throughout my formative years.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for all of the people at Weight Watchers who let me strip down to pantyhose and a strategically placed scarf before getting on the scale each week.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the opportunity to vacation in exotic foreign countries so I could experience a different way of life in a new culture.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful to have time to make it all the way down the driveway to get the mail.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for the Moosewood Vegetarian cookbook.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for the Butterball turkey hotline.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for a warm, cozy home to share with my loved ones.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for the lock on the bathroom door.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for such material objects as custom furniture, a nice car, and trendy clothes.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful when the baby spits up and misses my good shoes.

BEFORE CHILDREN: I was thankful for my wonderful family.
AFTER CHILDREN: I am thankful for my wonderful family.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

It was high time Camden got to see the baseball team for whose stadium he is named. The Orioles came to Dallas to play the Rangers this week so he finally got the chance. We went to two of the three games in the series b/c of church on Wednesday night (but with the butt-whoopin' the O's got that night...I'm kinda glad we weren't there...) The two games we made it to were great - close down to the last out and the O's came out on top both of those nights.

Camden did great - despite the fact that he's usually in bed at 7:30 p.m. and the games didn't even start until 7:05. I finagled his naps to allow him a late afternoon siesta and that seemed to do the trick - and when that didn't work, cotton candy did. :o)

Here are some photos from the game - enjoy!!!
Daddy and Camden on their way in to the game.

Camden - just taking it all in...

Mmmmmm...cotton candy

Daddy and Camden at the game...go O's!!!

He'd have made it if the game hadn't gone into extra innings!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

The Easter ham leftovers are in the fridge, the dyed eggs reconnaissance missions were all successful and the chocolate bunny has met his demise... Camden probably won't remember much of what we did today but I am glad he was here to help us celebrate. A few years ago Ryan and I would try to "get in the Easter spirit" by dyeing eggs just for the two of us - but putting all that effort into decorating only to have our finished works of art sit in the fridge until it was time to throw them away just wasn't as fun as Easter with a little one.

Here are some pics from our Easter holiday - and while the baskets, bunnies and jellybeans are great, I'd be remiss not to give thanks for the reason we celebrate - the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus!!! Happy Easter to you all!!!

Camden with all of his Easter loot!

Dyeing Easter eggs...okay, watching mom and dad do most of the work... but I did help a little!

That bunny is mine...all mine!!!

Our finished eggs... when Camden has a little brother or sister we'll have to make sure their name isn't more than six letters long or we'll have to buy more than one dozen eggs! :o)