Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cookie Monster

Last night Ridley and I helped Auntie Leann and Auntie Lara make
cookies! Ridley's job was mostly to supervise.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa Baby

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better not pout
I'm telling you why

Santa Ridley's coming to town!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving (times 4)

Ridley celebrated Thanksgiving four times this year! Last Saturday we
went to Grandma Holland's, Wednesday night we had a turkey dinner with
them immediate Holland/Neske family, yesterday afternoon we celebrated
with the Reids, and last night we had Thanksgiving ham with the Cutlers!

Ridley handled all the people and excitement wonderfully and enjoyed a
lot of food too! We found out that he loves stuffing! He ate tons at
Grandma Heidi and Grandpa Steves' house Wednesday night, then ate more
for breakfast yesterday morning! He also loved sweet potatoes! He even
tried some apple crisp and pumpkin pie too!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Favorite Food

Scrambled eggs and cheese!! Yummy!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Birthday Baby!!

Ridley had his first birthday on Thursday! He went to the doctor and
found out he is now 30 1/2 inches tall and 22 pounds! That is 70th
percentile for height and 45th for weight.

He got three shots and a finger prick for a blood draw at the doctor.
He did not like it, but handled it well.

He is now walking everywhere and he has also been practicing his
dancing a lot for his Auntie Stacey's wedding next weekend!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

This is Halloween

And Ridley dressed as a scary skelly-ton!! (He also glows in the dark!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

House Pictures!

Here are some pictures of our house! We are mostly moved in and settling in well. The kitties and Ridley love it!

Living room (and Gilmour on the couch and Ridley playing on the floor)

Kitchen (and ugly wallpaper border, which will be disposed of)

Tweakie hanging out between the stairs

Standing on the stairway landing looking up.
(doors l-r are master bed, bath, closet, office/third bed)

Ridley and Tweak watching the washer and dryer

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Backyard

This morning. And yes, that would be snow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A House for Ridley Dexter

As many of you know, last week, we bought a house! We'd started looking at the beginning of July, and we probably looked at over 50 houses all together. The majority were foreclosures, some which were an excellent condition, some that needed to be torn down and rebuilt, and most somewhere in between. We also looked at short sales (houses nearing foreclosure, but the owner are still able to try to negotiate with the bank to relieve them of some of the cost of the house), and we even looked at a couple that were just for sale like normal. 

The first house we put in an offer on was in Circle Pines, MN. It was a really cute little place with a huge backyard that backed right up to a city park, but we lost out to another offer. The second offer we made was on a townhouse in Shoreview that we both loved and agreed would be perfect. Unfortunately, we lost out to another offer. A few days after we lost out, we got a phone call from our realtor, calling to let us know that the financing was falling through for the people whose offer had been accepted for the townhouse, so it would be going back on the market. We put in another offer the next day, and this time we got it! 

That was in late August, so we spent September packing and waiting. 

Everything went through smoothly and we closed September 30. We went home, picked up Ridley, grabbed some food and headed right over to the new house to start cleaning. We cleaned all evening, the came back and did more the next morning. We took a break to look at some appliances, and we actually found a great deal on a high efficiency washer and dryer, which we ordered and will hopefully have sometime next week. We also found a fantastic fridge, but it was too big for the space we have. (We do have a fridge currently, it's just a little outdated. And sometimes the fan makes a loud and annoying noise). 

Thursday night we moved over enough of our clothes, pillows and toiletries that we could start spending the night. This also meant we could bring the kitties over. They LOVE their new house. It has many places to explore, stairs to run up and down, and a patio door to watch squirrels, birds and the neighbor's dog. 
Since Friday morning, we've been moving more and more over almost every day, although we are taking a couple days off from moving to unpack now. The lease on our apartment doesn't end until the end of November, so we have quite a bit of time to work with. 

I have many pictures of the new place, in various stages of being put together, but unfortunately, the cord to connect my camera to the computer is an a box somewhere that has yet to be unpacked. And it wouldn't have done a whole lot of good to have it around before then anyway since we didn't have internet until Wednesday night. 

But we are all adjusting well to life in the new house. It was especially nice this morning not to have to scrape the frost off our car windows since we were parked in the garage! 

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's a Nice Day For a Backyard Wedding, Yeah....

Last Sunday, my cousin Joey and his beautiful girlfriend Emily got married at my uncle's house in Dennison, MN. The weather co-operated, and they had a perfect ceremony in the backyard (officiated by Joey's aunt Kathy, aka my mom!). Ridley, Robin, Nora and I all rode down together - it was really nice to spend time with them before they both went out to Washington DC! Here are a few pictures from the day....

Mrs. Emily Hanson and Mr. Joey Reid

Grandma Kathy and Ridley Dexter

Uncle Robin and Ridley

Auntie Nora and Ridley!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

bubbles, bubbles, everywhere.....

Last week, Nana went to the State Fair. While she was there, she found a bubble gun "for Ridley." Last Sunday while out in Stillwater, we let Ridley (and mommy and Nana) try it out.....

he loved it. . .

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ridley Dexter Goes to the Fair

On Wednesday, Daddy and Grandpa Steve took Ridley to the Minnesota State Fair! Grandpa Steve came over bright and early, and the three of them walked the few blocks from our apartment to the state fairgrounds. Fortunately they had beautiful weather!

Daddy and Grandpa took Ridley to see lots of animals - piggies, cows, chickens and duckies too!

Josh said Ridley really liked the ducks and the chickens :)

After wandering around for a while, Daddy and Grandpa Steve got hungry, so they got a bucket of french fries to share while Ridley ate his puffy snacks.

But Ridley ate all the french fries too!!

Ridley had a wonderful day at the fair - and so did Daddy and Grandpa Steve!

Friday, August 28, 2009

first haircut/first step/first word

Last Sunday, I gave Ridley his first haircut. My goal was not to cut
his little ears, and I was successful. I even managed to cut it
straight despite him moving his head the whole time!

When I picked Ridley up on Monday, grandpa Steve said that he'd taken
one step, all by himself.

And both Josh and Grandma Heidi have heard "kit-tee!" coming from

Yay buddy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Handsome, Huge and Hungry

We had Ridley's nine-month doctor's appointment yesterday, and it went very well. He did not need any shots, so this made things more pleasant for him too. Ridley is now 29 inches tall (75th percentile) and weighs 20 pounds, 9 ounces (50th percentile). I guess he isn't lying when he tells us he is SO BIG!!!

Josh asked the doctor how awesome Ridley is on a scale of one to ten. Her professional, medical opinion? Eleven.
(But we knew that already)

After Ridley's appointment, we brought him out to Josh's parents' house to spend the evening with Grandma Heidi, Grandpa Steve, Auntie Stacey and Uncley Scott so Josh and I could go to the Science Museum with Leann. Their current special exhibit is Titanic, so we went to both the Omni show and the exhibit itself. The exhibit was excellent. They have many actual artifacts recovered from the Titanic on display. It is really amazing to see how well maintained things are after sitting thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean for so many years.

Yesterday, Ridley tried chicken for the first time. He liked it! His meal times are starting to be a lot of fun as he tries new foods and textures! Some foods he likes....

applesauce mangoes carrots peaches
peas puffy snacks chicken
yogurt sweet potato rice cereal pears

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Robin, Ridley, and the Reids

Ridley's Uncle Robin (my brother) is in town visiting from Washington DC, so a whole group of family from my mom's side of the family got together on Saturday. We went to my uncle's house in Dennison, MN, which is near Northfield. Robin and I ended up taking a bit of a scenic drive through some corn and soybean fields since the google maps on my phone thought that would be the quickest way to go...

In addition to my uncle, aunt and cousin Sam, my grandparents, and my mom and her husband were there too! Ridley had not seen his great-grandma and great-grandpa Reid since April, so he was sooo much bigger!

My uncle not only is a fantastic cook, but he and his wife both work for food coops and they raise their own chickens, so we had an amazing lunch (including deviled eggs made from eggs from their chickens!).

My grandma brought a quilt for Robin that she had made. She's been working on it for a while, and it's turned out absolutely amazing. You can't see much of it in the picture below, and even so, a picture wouldn't do it justice. Beautiful work, Grandma!! (And Grandpa, who helped cut fabric pieces too!)

It was good to see everyone, and we are excited to see them all again in a month for our cousin Joey's wedding!!

Here We Grow!

Even though I tell him not to, Ridley just keeps on growing. We are often asked how tall he is and how much he weighs, but since his last doctor's appointment was at six months, we don't have a very good answer. (His nine-month appointment is August 20, so we'll report back then).

But when we ask Ridley how big he is, he has a pretty good answer.

(Ridley's Auntie Stacey sent me a cute video of Ridley doing this too, but I couldn't get it to post, so we had to make our own).

Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie & Julia & Ridley

Ridley has discovered that reading is a good way to pass time in the
car. His favorite books are "Yummy Yucky" and his Sesame Street Shapes
book, but yesterday he decided to read some of mommy's copy of "Julie
& Julia."

Monday, August 3, 2009

Visitors From the East

Ridley and I are having a very exciting early August! Not only is Ridley turning nine months on Wednesday, but two important visitors are making an appearance in Minnesota!

A good friend of mine from work moved to China in August of last year, and is back in town for a week before going back to China for another year. When she left, Ridley was a rather large bump in my belly. So she was very excited to meet him, and we spent most of the day Sunday with her. Ridley charmed her and flirted to the best of his abilities, of course.

Our other visitor from the east is Ridley's uncle Robin who will be coming back to MN on Thursday! He will be here for just over a week, and we are very excited to see him. The last time he saw Ridley was in early February.

I suspect with all the excitement, August will pass as quickly as July (if not more so), and fall will be upon us before we know it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Teeth/Video Test

If this works, you should see all four of Ridley's top teeth in this
little video!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

We Brush Our Teeth

Now that Ridley has six teeth (and number seven is on the way), every
night after we have our "solid foods dinner" we brush Ridley's teeth.
He LOVES it.

We get out his baby Eeyore toothbrush, his floride-free baby/toddler
toothpaste, and then mommy brushes his teeth and gums while Ridley
grabs the toothbrush and tries to do it himself. So then he gets to
brush his own teeth for a minute, which usually consists of chewing on
the toothbrush.

And then when we take the toothbrush away and say "all done!" he
screams because he doesn't want to stop. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Softly, Gently

We have been teaching Ridley about petting the kitties (specifically
that we pet kitties nicely, not pull their fur).

Yesterday evening I stepped out of the living room into the kitchen to
grab a glass of water, and when I came back, Tweak was sprawled across
the couch and Ridley was standing right next to him. This alone was a
surprise; Tweak usually dashes away when he sees Ridley coming.

But more surprising was what Ridley was doing.

Using his index finger and thumb, Ridley was very, very gently petting
Tweak's ear.

Tweak loved it. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Joy of Pepsi Cola

After a good walk on a hot summer day, Ridley knows how to cool down
and relax.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Outing

Today, Ridley and I needed to go to Target. So we bundled Ridley up in
his sweatshirt, jeans, socks and shoes to face the 57 degree mid-July

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chatterbox Boy

Yes. What he said. 

Taking a Stand

For the past couple weeks Ridley has been pulling himself up to a standing position on anything he can reach. He also cruises around on the furniture with ease. 

The past couple days have brought cooler temperatures to St. Paul, which has been nice. It's been easier to get outside and enjoy the summer when going outside doesn't mean "melting." 
Last week we purchased a cheap collapsable stroller from Target and we have already used it several times to walk from Josh's parents' house to a park several blocks away. It takes up so much less space in the trunk and weighs so much less!

I can't believe June is almost over - in four hours it will be July 1! On Sunday Ridley will be eight months old! I can't believe how soon he will be a year!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Yesterday we had a barbeque over at Steve and Heidi's house. Josh made ribs, chicken, brats, potato salad (with some help from Steve), and some other delicious things.... including BBQ sauce made from scratch, which tasted great!

A few friends and family joined us as well, just a small group, but it was a good size considering we had two babies and two kittens there. (Not our kitties, but Stacey and Scott's new kittens, Bender and Fry. So cute!!)

Ridley's little friend Laila came over and since the weather was so beautiful they got to play outside in the backyard on a blanket!

Laila is three and a half months older than Ridley, and he was a little scared of her yesterday, but I think it was just because he was tired. She is a very sweet little girl and I can't believe she will be a year old in less than a month!

Ridley had so much fun! And thanks to Diane for all the beautiful pictures!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beat the Heat

For the past week, the temperature has been hot, humid and miserable. So here are some of the ways that Ridley, Josh and I have been beating the heat. 

1. Swimming Pool. Fortunately, Ridley LOVES the pool. He can splash and splash and splash... so much fun!

2. Bathtub. For the same reasons as swimming pool, but it takes less effort on the part of mommy and daddy. 

3. Air conditioning!! Whether it's in our living room, at Target, in the car, or at Grandma Heidi and Grandpa Steve's house, there's nothing like a little AC to keep us cool. 

4. Outside. Yes, some of these days it has been hotter in our little sauna of an apartment then it has been outside, so just getting out and enjoying the weather has been good too. (But only some days. Some days outside has been just as bad/worse). 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

Yesterday, in an effort to be the heat, Ridley and I went swimming in
our apartment complex's indoor pool. Most people were at the outdoor
pool, so we almost had the place to ourselves - there was just one
other little guy there (3 or 4 years old) with his aunt.

It took Ridley a few minutes to get used to being in the water again
since his first swimming experience two weeks ago. But before long he
started putting his hand in the water (we have a little flotation
device for him, so he only sits in water up to his waist).

Before long, he discovered he could make splashes!

He made little splashes, big splashes, open handed splashes, splashes
with his fist....anything he could do. He had so much fun! He got
water in his hair and all over his face and he didn't care, just kept
on splashing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Funky Times at Funkie Gardens

The weather was absolutely beautiful today, so Ridley and I decided we didn't want to be cooped up inside all day. We debated going to Como, but decided it would be way too busy, so we called Diane to see what she was up to, and ended up deciding to join her on a trip to one of her most-frequented garden centers: Funkie Gardens. 

After a half hour car ride to Stillwater followed by another half hour car ride to Prescott, WI, Ridley was done with the car nd excited to get out and look around!

We helped Nana pick out new hostas for her garden. Here Ridley is posing next to a "T-Rex Hosta." It was taller than he was :)

We also looked at some really pretty peonies. The ones pictured below were near the check-out, but they had many others around the yard and in their show garden. 

After picking out new hostas for Grandpa Jeff and Nana's gardens, we went and walked through their show garden, which was really pretty. Nana showed Ridley many things that she would like to plant, but can't because their yard doesn't get enough sunlight. 

We both had a really fun time!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11, 2008

Ridley. One year ago today. (not sure why it's sideways).  

Today Ridley continued to master crawling, which he really picked up on yesterday, used our couch to pull himself up so he was standing, and looked at Josh and said, "da da." 


Ridley has been sleeping fitfully for nearly a week now. This, of course, translates to much lost sleep for me as well. 
So, of course, it figures that on the first night he actually sleeps well, I still would not be able to fall asleep nearly two hours after going to bed. 
This is much to Tweak's delight of course, since I have know abandoned the notion that simply being in bed will bring about sleep. No, I am sitting on my couch, soft kitten next to me, in hopes that my inability to sleep won't bother Josh. 
When I think about how tired I will be at work tomorrow, it depresses and exhausts me. Being tired and being home with Ridley is one thing, but being that tired and chained to a desk under florescent lights is another "can of worms," as they say. 

So here is my plan:
Snuggle with Tweak a bit more. 
Go back to bed, where hopefully sleep will be waiting. 
Use my handy iPod set to shuffle and high volume as a means of keeping awake at work tomorrow. Hopefully my iPod will be in a "hard rock" mood and not a "classical music" mood. Or worse "Ridley's lullaby CDs" mood.

Good night. And good luck. To me :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Creeping Baby

Here you go, mom! Video of Ridley creeping/scooting across the floor. When he wants something, he is very determined (in this case he's after season one of 24). 

While feeding Ridley a delicious dinner of pureed sweet potatoes, apples and peaches tonight, I couldn't help but notice that he and I agreed on three things:
1. We both LOVE sweet potatoes. 
2. We both HATE banana and avacado.
3. We also LOVE pears.  

Welcome Summer

June is here and we've had a busy start to the summer! Ridley is seven months old today, and becoming a pro at balancing up on his hands and knees. He's taken a few crawling steps, but nothing consistent yet. He's become quite the master at scooting around the floor though, so last night we made a trip to Babies R Us to get a "super-yard" which is basically a series of connected baby gates which make a large area for him to play in. We have ours open and tucked into both ends of the sectional in our living room, so it gives him a nice big area to safely play and throw his toys around in. 

Today we received the voucher to go get a new crib, so we'll soon be back to Babies R Us to pick that out. 

We also took Ridley swimming for the first time today! We have both pictures and video, but it's on Josh's video camera, so I don't know how to upload it to the computer. Once we have it on here, I will post it! Ridley LOVED swimming. We brought him down to the indoor pool in our apartment complex and he has a floatation device that we put him in and he just had a blast kicking his little feet and splashing!

The video above is one of my many failed attempts to get footage of him scooting for my mom to see. No movement here, but it shows off his sweet, adorable personality!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Truth in Advertising

Ridley tells it like it is.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crib Recall.

As many of you know, there was a recall issued on our crib. (There had been reports of the slats breaking... very few, but they don't take risks with these things). So we sent in the information on our crib and received instructions to take our crib apart and send in the hardware from it, along with the labels identifying the model number, and we'd receive a voucher for a new crib. 

Today was "take the crib apart day."

Tweak supervised.

Josh did the manual labor.

Ridley read a book on child development and parenting.

And then he played with some toys in his temporary crib (his playard). He loves his blocks!!