Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cox Family Reunion

This weekend was the annual Cox Family Reunion at the lake. Swimming, wake skating, going out on the boat, getting caught in a couple of rain storms, riding bikes, eating cookies, grilling out, fishing, playing cards and having a great time together.  

From front to back, left to right: Aunt Carol, Grandma Cox (holding Ruby), Momo, Kyle, Sarah, me, Ryan, Chris, Daddo, Uncle Skip, Mark, Michael, Kate and Sarah Sarah

Friday, July 24, 2009

This is Really Great!

A Revolution in Cleaning

My least favorite thing to clean is the plastic shower curtain liner. It is not fun - it takes quite a bit of time and it usually doesn't really look very clean when I'm done. I put one hand behind each section so I have something to press it against when I'm scrubbing the other side and end up getting soap scum all over myself. Every few months I give up on cleaning it and simply throw it away... until recently!

Ryan's mom has shared a secret with me that has changed how I clean my shower curtain liners. She has saved me time and money and for that I am incredibly grateful! I will share these 5 easy steps so that you, too can save yourself some cleaning time!

How To Clean the Shower Curtain Liner:
  1. Take it off the hooks
  2. Throw it in the washing machine with a couple of towels and detergent.
  3. Slowly remove from washer (hang over deep sink to remove puddles)
  4. Throw it in the dryer for 3-4 minutes with a couple of towels to remove the wrinkles
  5. Re-hang and enjoy the glorious sparkly cleanness.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Great Grandma Cox

Ryan's Grandma Cox came to town this week and got to meet Ruby for the first time. I love that we could capture these first moments on video. Ruby has 6 great grandparents - which is pretty incredible! So far she has met three of them. Next week she gets to meet her Great Granny and Papaw and hopefully later in the summer we'll get her down to meet her Great Grandma Beeson.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ruby's Earliest Smiles and Grins

This was my first attempt at putting video on my blog - pretty exciting!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Growth Happens

It's not easy blogging with one hand - but I'm getting quite good at it these days. Right now Ruby is in the crook of my left arm, just hanging out, staring at me and letting out an occasional squeal or sigh as if she's making sure I realize she's still laying there.

I seriously can't believe how fast she is growing and changing! This morning I was looking through her newborn pics that were taken when she was just 9 days old. She didn't do much back then... but now she is smiling, cooing, kicking her legs around and with her eyes she's following the fish that swim in circles when we turn on her mobile. It's incredible! She is showing quite a personality and seems to love hearing herself squeal.

I love meeting and seeing people with babies that are a little older than Ruby. At church this weekend I saw a little 6 month old girl standing on her daddy's lap and laughing at him as he moved his knees back and forth. Whenever I see something like that I can't help but picture Ryan doing the same thing with Ruby in a few months. 
I'm becoming more aware everyday that I need to cherish these days, when she is still so small she wakes up in the same spot I as where I laid her down. I want to cherish each time that she gives me her hungry grunts and snorts and I get to spend 30 minutes feeding her, just being with her, staring at her, praying for her and knowing that she wouldn't rather be anywhere else.

Why we named her Ruby Dawn

  • This is my dear friends Ruby. Ryan and I have always loved her name and about 3 years ago we decided that if we ever had a little girl we would name her Ruby. 
  • As you may know, my name is Amber, which is a gem and a color... and Ruby is also a gem and a color.
  • We gave her the middle name Dawn because my mom is Sheila Dawn, my sister is Angela Dawn and I am Amber Dawn, so we decided to keep the tradition alive.
In related news, Ruby has been serving and teaching in Mexico for the past 2 years. She is with an awesome organization called Back2Back and will be staying on with them for another year. You can read more about what she does on her blog. If you would like to help financially support Ruby and all the lives she is touching in Mexico, send a check with the name "Ruby Moyer" in the memo to:
Back2Back Ministries
8118 Corporate Way
Suite 201
Mason, OH 45040

Squish Lips

By the looks of her sleepy squish lips it seems the Ruby is quite comfortable with her Uncle Aaron.

Squirrel Hands

I love Ruby's little squirrel hands in this picture of her with Angela!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Uncle Aaron and Aunt Tracy

Aaron and Tracy flew up from Florida to meet Ruby this weekend. They came up to Grand Rapids for a few hours then all of us went down to Mom and Dad's house to hang out together. It's been mighty cool for the middle of July, so we have been sitting around wearing a lot of clothing and looking for more logs to throw on the fire. Either way, we love being together as a family and it's really special to have Aaron and Tracy up here in the cold north.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Things I've learned this month

Ruby is one month old today, which gives me a month of parenting under my belt. Here are a few recommendations for new moms during their first month with a newborn. The following has worked for me, but I offer no guarantees.

  • Get a spare key and hide it somewhere for when you lock yourself out of your house
  • Try to laugh at yourself because you're gonna mess up
  • Clip a baby's fingernails while you're feeding them and they're distracted
  • Buy some dry shampoo for yourself since it may be 2-3 days between proper showers
  • Read Babywise 4-5 times and follow accordingly... Feed/Wake/Sleep routine really works!
  • Invest in a great stroller and take lots of walks
  • Have fun with your spouse, go on a date, spend time just the two of you
  • Newborn onesies only fit for a few weeks - don't buy a million of them
  • Take some naps, eat some food, don't forget to drink lots of water!
In other news, Ruby weighs 10 pounds already! Check out her chubbiness! WOAH!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

I was watching TV yesterday morning and a commercial for vibrating mascara came on. WHAT!??

  • First of all, I can't even apply non-vibrating mascara properly. Most days a good amount ends up somewhere on my face/finger/mirror/wall instead of on my lashes.
  • Secondly, wouldn't intense vibration on your lashes make your eyelid vibrate a little too? And wouldn't a vibration on your eyelid make your eyeball watery?
This just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Has anyone tried Pulse Perfection Vibrating Mascara? I'm not trying it. I'm too scared.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Visiting Granger

Ryan was on call on Sunday, so I took Ruby to Granger for a couple of days. My mom has the ultimate "grandma" set up at her house - thanks to a handful of her friends, mom has everything Ruby could possibly need, including a crib, bathtub, swing, and even some diapers and wipes at her house! Incredible!

Camp Adventure started on Monday and we got to see my dad for a few hours before he left for camp. This is Ruby and dad in the RV. I don't know many senior pastors who spend two weeks every summer pouring into the middle school students in their church, but my dad always does. He loves it. He gets revived by it. He decided to follow Jesus when he was a 7th grade camper at Camp Adventure - so it's a really special place.

Granger hosted the first SpringHill Day Camp this week as well! Mom and Ruby and I went on Monday to see the elementary kids having an awesome time. Granger's campus was transformed into a 2nd grader's dream land with a water slide, euro-bungee, climbing wall and a bunch of other games. There were dozens of really cool college-age counselors there to help. The auditorium had contraptions where kids were harnessed in and swinging from the ceiling. There was a lot of happy squealing going on. So fun!
Mom and I spent a lot of time out on the porch because Ruby loved it out there! The weather was gorgeous and Ruby loves looking at the contrast between the bright sky and the outline of the trees. I think she liked hearing the birds too.
We missed Ryan so much. Ruby gave him a big cheesy grin when he got home from work today. I wish I had my camera for it!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July Hike

This afternoon was the perfect day for a hike, so we packed up the car and headed over toward the lake shore for some time in the great outdoors. Ruby did great - mostly just slept in the front pack other than peeking out through the arm hole a couple of times.

Did you wear Red White and Blue today? Apparently we did. USA! USA! USA!

Friday, July 3, 2009

He Went To Jared!

Five years ago today Ryan and I got married - and began our journey of life together. These have been the best 5 years of my life. I've never been more in love with Ryan than I am today. He is remarkable in every way.

When Ryan gave me my gift we laughed a lot as we acted out the entire "he went to Jared" commercial, then I opened the box and saw a gorgeous Ruby necklace! He said that I gave him a Ruby and he wanted to give me one too. So romantic - so thoughtful - so special that it represents our little girl.

Last night Ryan's mom and dad took care of Ruby (our daughter, not my necklace) so we could have an anniversary date. Since I couldn't eat sushi when I was pregnant Ryan took me out for my favorite spicy tuna sushi. We haven't found any really great sushi places in GR... and always find ourselves comparing all sushi to what we had when we lived in Chicago. Needless to say, the sushi last night was pretty good. 

We decided to follow up our sushi date with dessert at Chili's, and once we got there Ryan decided to order some little big-mouth burgers and fries before dessert... he is hilarious eating dinner again after our sushi.
I love you Hunny, you've made me the happiest woman over these last 5 years and I am thrilled that I get to spend the rest of my life with you. Here's to another 95 years!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I heart my mom.

Becoming a mother has made me more grateful and appreciative of my own mother than I can explain in words. My respect and admiration for her has always been huge, but now it's just ridiculous. 

When Ruby was first born and Ryan went back to work my incredible mom came to stay with us for a week. She helped me more than I could ever explain - cooking, cleaning, reminding me to eat and holding Ruby while I slept. 
Everyone needs a mom when they first become a mom. I hope that someday I can be as helpful to Ruby when she is a new mom. I love this picture of Ruby and my mom.