About Me

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Ryan and I began our journey together over 9 years ago, when we began dating. We became life partners in August of 2004, and this past fall we welcomed a baby into our family. Topher Van Sol was born Oct. 3, 2009. We have two wonderful dogs that bring joy everyday and are getting used to this attention stealer! I am a counselor in training, and Ryan is an Educational Assistant at a residential treatment center. He is also working on his MSW. We live to serve and love. We are blessed my our friendships and family.

Friday, June 10, 2011

To my husband, the best daddy!

Happy Father's Day- Ryan Kendall Porter! You are the most amazing person I know.

My husband. My husband became a father 20 months, and one week ago. From the moment Topher took his first breath, Ryan has been here to document with pictures, to change diapers, to kiss ouchies, and to be the perfect role model of what a man is, for our son. I wanted to write something to put out into the world, so that Ryan and Topher can truly know that I am blessed by the man who chose to spend his life being my partner.

I am not good at affirming Ryan. He puts up with so much with work, school, and his crazy wife, and his smile and hugs are never hard to get to- he is wonderful. I hope that even when I make his life more difficult, he can look back at this note and know that I truly want and need him every day!
Here are a few things that make Ryan my favorite person and the best father!

• He has made up countless songs and dittys that we now sing constantly to Topher.
• He is the best swing. He leans over and lets Topher sit in his arms and swings him back and forth- brings a laugh every time!
• He takes great pride and joy in doing the floors- vacuuming and mopping!
• He doesn’t like it when Topher calls him “Wy-wan” instead of “Dada”.
• Ryan only wants to make our house better.
• He loves Saturday morning cartoons- especially watching them with Topher.
• Ryan listens to my pointless stories.
• He knows that leaving to toilet seat up and the shower curtain open drive me CRAZY, and so now he always put them back the right way!
• When Topher wakes up in the morning, he always calls for Ryan, and that makes Ryan’s whole day!
• Ryan will watch Real Housewives with me.
• He knows my Starbucks drink!
• He will always share his food with me, even though I am not that forthcoming.
• Ryan loves me. Ryan loves Topher. We are blessed to be part of his life!

I could go on and on about the man that is Ryan. Maybe someday I will put down even more about the reasons he is the coolest person. Until then, I will strive to tell him every day- Thank you for loving me. Thank you for choosing me. And thank you for making Topher with me!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick vacation!

What a wonderful blessing this Easter weekend was. The weekend began on Friday when Ryan, Topher, and I took off work and internships and took off to meet with our Lubbock besties, the Helms! We decided to meet half way between our two towns, and so we concluded that was the exciting town of Ft. Sumner! So, Friday afternoon, we packed up the babies and met in the middle. We spent the night together, visiting and letting our kids play together. And I use the term 'playing' lightly... it seems that Topher looked at baby Maddox as someone who needed to be poked, hit, and pushed. Topher seemed to take on the bully role and it was super embarassing! We implimendted time-out a few times during our mini-vacation to Ft. Sumner.

We parted ways with the Helms' on Saturday afternoon after spending the morning taking the boys, Barry and Ryan, to The Billy the Kid Museum. They wee super excited to go- those guys love history! Topher and Maddox were just so confused on why we wouldn't let them run around and touch things!? After that long morning, we said bye to our friends and each headed home. It seems that our baby boys were very tired from such a fun time together, that both napped nearly the whole way home- yay!

We will see the Helms' soon for MADDOX'S FIRST BIRTHDAY! So, our good-bye wasn't so sad. We are super blessed your Lubbock besties and can't wait for a time, hopefully, when we can live down the street from each other and raise our boys together!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A year and a half!

18 months old today! It's hard to imagine that my itty, bitty, little, baby boy is in full toddler-mode and is getting so close to 2! He is growing so quickly and so strong, I love to see him try new things. He is really into carrying heavy things from room to room to show us how strong he is. He has a very large stuffed bear that Ryan gave to me when we were dating that we call, "Big Bear", and Topher loves to try and bring him from his room to the living room to our bedroom. He also finds it very entertaining to carry his plastic standing table from room to room. He is so strong!

One of my absolutle favorite things about Topher Van Sol is his words. The things he says and/or tries to say just bring joy to my heart and a smile to my face! He chatters like it's nobody's business. We can carry on conversations, although I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly what he says, maybe the jist! Topher does have a lot of words in his vocabulary and I am so excited when he learns a new one. I probably can't list them all, so here are a few of Topher's words:

"More"- sounds like ma and he signs when he says more!

"Hi"- Sounds like HI!

"Bye-bye" sounds like bye-bye usually comes with a wave!

"Yeah" sounds like yeah accompanied with a head nod

"No" sounds like no and usually has about 5 extra seconds of head shaking- he likes to shake his head.

"water" sounds like wawa

"duck" sounds like duck

"truck" sounds like truck

"plane" sounds like pane

"pan" sounds like an (spanish for bread)

"luna" sounds like luna (spanish for moon)

"fish" sounds like ish

"ball" sounds like baa

"Daddy" sounds like dada

"Mom" sounds like MAAAAAMAAAAA

"Butterfly" sounds like bu-fly- makes hand motion too

"Bubbles" sounds like bubah

"Awesome" sounds like Ah-sum

There are 18 words that my 18 month old says! He also loves to ask, "Where is it?" and it sounds like one long word like "whaisit?"and when he asks this, he holds his hands and arms to the side in a quizzative manner. So cute.

Topher's eyebrows are still the more expressive part of his body and the faces he is learning to make really do crack me up. He is learning that he is in control of his face and it makes me happy. I hope that soon, he will learn to look at the camera and smile without me having to prompt him! He loves to look at pictures we take of him as well as video. He thinks he is halarious! He laughs at himself talking and playing all the time.

Topher is growing so beautifully and wonderfully because we have such amazing help with him during the week. M/W/F he goes to stay at Brittany's house and gets to learn all things big boy by her 3 year old Austin and the other 3 year old that she babysits. They love to dress-up, play outside, and pick on "Baby" Topher. He is learning a lot of good things and some other things that 3 year olds do that I am going to have to discipline out of him! T/TH he goes to my other friend's house and plays with her 1 year old son, Jet. They have little adventures like playing in the leaves and looking at their reflection in the oven's glass! So sweet. He is learning a lot about sharing and being the 'big boy' there, since he is a few months older then Jet!

Ryan and I are in full-school mode, although sometimes it doesn't feel like school. Ryan is working full-time and going to school part-time, and doing 1 internship (at his work, thank God!). This means that the only time he actually comes straight home after work is Tuesday evenings because I have class! He is really doing amazing things.

I am in school full-time and doing 2 1/2 internships. I am doing a 300/hr internship at Cibola High School, and a 10-session Group internship there too. I was also required to do a mini-internship at a Community Counseling Agency, so I had to squeeze that in there too! It's been a great semester of learning and hands-on experience.

I have decided to 'walk' in May's graduation even though I will lack one more 300/hr internship. I decided that it would be very anticlimatic to finish all my Master's course work in July and then wait until December to actually 'walk' in the graduation ceremony- so I am going to do it before. I am excited to 'walk' with my bestfriend, Lindsey! We started together, had babies within 4 months of each other, and I would love to finish together!

Rufio and Harper are doing well too. Their lives consist of sleeping, playing in their awesome backyard, sleeping, eating, and hoovering around Topher's highchair for falling food. It also consist of constantly running from Topher who wants to touch their "eyes" (another word he loves to say) and they run from him because he loves to try and ride them! Rufio especially!

It's been a long time since I've written, and I hope you understand why.... busy busy busy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

January is OVER?

I was writing the date on some paperwork today and I cannot believe how fast time is flying... I am used to writing 2011 on things... although it never ceases to amaze me that it is a new year! Wow.

With a the new year, begins a new semester! Wow... has it been busy! Ryan is still going "part time" to school and I use quotes because there is nothing partial about it. He is taking 2 classes and a practicum AND working a full-time job. He is doing great work and although he misses his wife and son, he is wonderfully present with his clients at work and the boys he works with.

I am taking 3 classes, 2 practicums, and 1 traverse (30hr internship). I am doing my 2 practicums at Cibola High School in the 9th grade academy. This means that I need to complete 300 hours this semester and co-faciliate 10 group sessions... with 9th graders! So any prayers will be appreciated. I am doing my traverse at Engender Cousnseling, Inc. and so far all is going well.

Topher, sweet Topher, is taking some time to adjust to the new schedules! He and I need to be out of the house pretty early and Tophie has decided that sleeping late is better then waking up! It makes for a rushed morning and a quick good-bye when I have to drop him off at care! Poor dude! Topher gets taken care of by some friends from church and he is loved and has a great time when he's there... it's just the initial drop-off that is diffcult! (For baby and momma!)

He does get some fun one-on-one time with Daddy on Tuesday nights when I am in class and I get some great time with him Thursday and Friday afternoons. These are fun times together!

Topher has gotten 4 new teeth, some back molars came in and they seem to be taking a toll with a slight fever and not much eating. Hopefully soon, though, this will mean even more and more new foods to introduce! He is signing more and more and is learning more and more words! His favorite words include "eye", "trash", "dog", "eeee/iiii" (as in Old McDonald), "mom", "weeee" (says when playing), and "asshhh ashhh...blar blar down" (as in ring-aroung-the rosies) and of course, "dada".

He signs "more", "milk", "help", "please". He is such a quick learner and soaks things up like a sponge! I need to watch what I say more and more!

Anyway, all is well in this little Porter house! Just wanted to do a quick blog to catch up!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tio E turns the BIG 3-0!

What a wonderful weekend adventure we had! Ryan, Topher, and I took a plane to go surprise Ernie for his 30th birthday! This had been in the works for a while and I never thought that it would be possible! Sweet sister, Daley, said that it just wouldn't be a party without Topher, so we packed up and went! Needless to say, I was super nervous about flying with a 15 month old! Topher loves to sit still for books, and that is about it. He always wants to play chase or run to go get a new toy, so sitting still on a plane was not going to be easy!

We packed snacks, milk, toys, and books... it was wonderful! Topher loved being on the plane! He loved to open and close the window and point to the wing of the plane. We read his books and he waved to all the people that walked up and down the isle. There was even a 20 month old blonde beauty that sat behind us that loved to say 'hi' to the baby! She was a great distraction.

We arrived in Dallas and Daley picked us up from the airport. We drove the hour back to their house and waited for Ernie to get home from work! I called Ernie on our way, because we saw a black car on the freeway and was certain it was him. Luckily, he was just leaving the office and we had time to beat him home and hide! As Ernie pulled up Ryan, Daley, and I hide behind the walls and let Topher walked and roam around the living room. Ernie opened the door, and saw Topher! He was shocked. This was surprise number one!

Surprise number two came the next day! Ernie said that he wanted to go out to dinner for his birthday, so that was the plan... or so he thought! We ate a big breakfast and then Ryan had made plans with Mike to get Ernie out of the house. Topher, Daley, Megan (Daley's sister) and I got the house ready to party! When it was time for the boys to come, the house was full of people, Ernie and Ryan were no where to be found! They wanted to go run errands and get things done... Ryan is not very good at being sneaky!
We finally got them to come home and surprised Ernie! He said he was scared as he opened the door and got "SURPRISE" screamed at him and tortillas thrown at him. It was wonderful!

This is Javier and SK welcoming the birthday boy home!

The Brown's and the cake! Daley ordered a Dave Matthews Cake.
The lyrics read, "Celebrate, we will! Life is short but sweet". It was cool looking and delicious!

Ernie got some hats for his birthday, so they made their way around the party
keeping people's ears warm!

Even though there was a party happeneing, Topher got Tia Meggy to read him a book!
The party last well into the night, and one of the best parts was when Daley become the keeper of the quiet after Topher was put to bed!
The next day, Ernie introduced us to a new board game and we drank espresso and relaxed. We got lunch and watched the snow begin to fall! We packed up, loaded the car, and returned to Dallas. We flew home and Topher did great on the plane again! He is such a sweet boy! It was a wonderful weekend with surprises and lots and lots of laughs!
Thank you, Daley, for making it possible!


Friday, November 12, 2010

13 Month Old Blog

It’s been a while… I feel like I am failing at blogging! And I don’t like it! But, today, I am home with my Tophie and while it’s been a full day, there is NOTHING looming in this evenings’ future that is pressing for my time, at this moment, so I am blogging! Yay!

Today, Tophie has been all mine. I haven’t had to share him with his caregivers, Gina or Brittany, and I haven’t had to trade him off to Ryan so that I can run to class… it’s been just him and me and it is exactly what I needed. My day would have been even better if Ryan were here to play with us; too, however, someone needs to work outside the home. This week has been full of clients, meetings, paperwork, classes, and workshops. Topher has been such a trooper during this time, although, I know he misses his house, his toys, his dogs, and his momma. Wednesday when I dropped him off at care, he did his silent cry! This is when Topher begins to cry and the PAIN is so much that he cannot breathe. Just think of a baby how has fallen and hit their head or something and their mouth is wide open, and yet no sound. BREAK MY HEART! Topher LOVES his caregivers and her sons, but the thought of spending this time apart was hard on him… and me!

As soon as I was pulling out of the driveway he was already being entertained by dogs licking the glass backdoor and little buddies, but that moment of separation… it’s hard. And we survived!
Anyway, back to today… Topher and I have played, eaten, worked and he napped and I vegged. It’s been a great day.

And since I haven’t done this in a while, here are 13 things about my 13 month-old:
1. Topher loves to bark. When his, or any dog barks, Topher has a lot to say back!
2. He is starting to understand and freely give “besos”
3. He can melt even the most stoic college kid by waving to them as they drive by on campus.
4. Topher LOVES string cheese.
5. Shoveling dog food into the dog’s bowls, onto the floor, and into his mouth is one of Topher’s favorite chores.
6. Instead of saying “cheese” when we point the camera at him, he says “EEEYYYYYY” (I started that)
7. Topher now gets in trouble for holding his milk cups upside down and shaking them out for the dogs to drink.
8. Topher gets in trouble for empting the trashcans.
9. Topher gets into trouble for biting me when I brush his teeth.
10. One of his favorite meals is hummus and Middle Eastern wheat flatbread.
11. Baby T now eats 2 eggs and fresh fruit for breakfast- yup, just like a real human!
12. Even though he won’t admit it, Topher likes Glee. He dances to it.
13. As of this week, Topher now has more hair then his daddy. Ryan shaved his head!

Alright, that’s my blog for today! Thanks for reading.
Hopefully, more to come- ‘til then, CHEERS!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bad Mom = Bad Blogger

I haven't blogged in a long while and I feel so sad that so much has happened that I haven't shared with the world! Topher's birthday was amazing and I have so many thoughts I need to write about and pictures to share! Ryan, Topher, and I went to the pumpkin patch in Moriarty, and that was a precious memory-making day! And this past weekend was Halloween (parties, a trip to the zoo, and trick or treating) and Topher was just the cutest baby in the world and really had a great weekend! So... this is my sneek preview to the big blogs to come! I am making a public commitment to blog and work harder to document our life and share more stories about Tophie.