Life With Riley

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Well Hello There 2009 – I can’t believe that 2008 is a thing of the past, it went by much too quickly for my taste! All in all it was a good year with good times shared with family and friends, a little bit of travel thrown into the mix, and the chance to get to watch Riley grow and turn into her own little personality. She is starting to use sentences now and is getting better at telling Daddy to “Follow me” when she wants me to do something. Most of the time it works out pretty well, and if we need to, Mom and Dad are still helping Baby Boo ‘keep it real’.
Riley’s Rendition of Jingle Bells

We’re still working on posting pictures from the Christmas festivities in WV and MI, and if I can figure out how to make it work, there should be a couple of short videos of Riley entertaining the family during dinner somewhere in this post. Santa was good to Riley this year, as was everyone else. There are now plenty of blocks, dolls, trains, train tracks, books, puzzles, clothes and more to last for a while. Uncle Tim and Aunt Trina also renewed our NC Zoo membership so we look forward to more trips to visit the animals in the coming year.
Time for me to work on trying to include the videos, hopefully you’ll have already checked out the cuteness before you read this far!
Riley Wishes You a Merry Christmas

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I’ve not taken Riley to a library yet. I know I know– but heck I have to figure out where they are around here. I think I know- just haven’t had a time to go. However, they’ve talked about libraries at school and she’s seen Caillou episodes and other references to libraries. (Trust me, the kid is not hurting for books and she loves them all.)
So on the way home I ask her where she would like to go. She does this Dr. Evil kind of point at the corner of her mouth thing and says “Hrmm”.
“I go… LIBRARY!”
I was kinda shocked she said it as we’ve never talked about going to the library. So I asked her a few more questions including what was at a library. She shared with me what she knew and then..
“Books, they have books!”
“Yes, yes they do Riley! Do you think they would let us look at their books if we are careful?”
“YES!” as she laughed at the silly mommy.
“What else do they have at libraries?”
*pause*
“THOMAS!!! I PLAY THOMAS!!!”
For a minute I was lost then as she talked more about going to the library I realized what she was talking about.
Dear lord, Riley thinks Barnes and Noble is a library!!!
I laughed so hard. We came home instead and I think I will do my best to take her to a real library soon.

Riley Update

Posted on: May 21, 2008

Boy, it’s been a long time since Dad has dusted off the keyboard and provided an update. Sorry for the delay, but here is some new content to keep you occupied and informed for the time being:

  • Riley had minor surgery on May 19th – her ENT specialist replaced the tube in one of her ears and removed her adenoids. Mom and Dad didn’t realize that this surgery required her to get an IV and a breathing tube! But all went well – the doctor said her little adenoids were very infected, so we’re hoping this will be a big quality of life improvement for Ms. Riley;
  • When we brought her home, she was still a little confused and shaky from the anesthesia, but after some down time (and a little bit of ice cream) she was ready to head outside to “Blow bubbles!” – one of her favorite new activities. This go around she actually worked with Mom and created some bubbles on her own. Usually she walks around with the bubble wand, a bink in her mouth, and tries to blow but no results. She ate a regular dinner, choked down her antibiotics, Zyrtec and some pain meds and slept through the night. It was back to day care the day after the surgery – little Miss Riley is quite the resilient kiddo!
  • Riley is picking up on new things at a fast pace – she can now count to 10 and get through her ABCs with a little hlep from an adult; she likes to count 1…2…7…8…10, but if you prompt her with the ‘3’ she goes straight through; she’ll start to sing the ABC song by herself too – but usually skips out around G or H and zips ahead to W…X…Y…Z; she is also singing most of Happy Birthday on her own, although if you ask her it’s normally her birthday that she is ‘celebrating’, although she will add in other people from time to time; Riley is also now the proud owner of at least 1 Subaru (If you ask her who’s car Beth’s Outback is – she’ll usually answer “Riley’s car”; so far Dad’s Tribeca is pretty safe) and a house – when she starts making mortgage payments Dad will let her take this credit;
  • Mom and Dad are doing well – we’ve survived the NC weather excitement of late and were very fortunate that none of the tornadoes or strong winds did anything more than blowing down some small branches; we’re getting more rain this year which is nice – we can wash cars and water the yard on a limited basis this year, hopefully the wet weather keeps up for the summer this year.

That’s all for now – don’t forget to check the Flickr page for the latest in photographed cuteness!!

We had a great Christmas holiday and hope that all of you did too. Some of the highlights included getting to spend time with family and friends in WV and MI, getting to see some snow on the ground and snow coming down, watching Riley have more fun tapping on boxes and playing with paper rather than paying attention to the actual gifts, and making it through WV without serious injury with a Michigan sticker on the car and Riley wearing a Michigan hat!
Riley had a great time playing with her cousins and getting spoiled by her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. She still needs a good bit of help with the gift opening (she likes the sound the wrapped boxes and crumpled up paper make, and is easily distracted by things other than what’s in the boxes), but did her best to keep up the pace opening up presents.
This year we tried to stick to a ‘buy local’ program for gift shopping, we weren’t 100% successful but many locally produced gifts were given and received. We got some nice hand-made wooden toys and a beautiful cutting board, lots of good food products made in MI, and a sweet 1-year membership to the NC Zoo!!! (thanks Uncle Tim and Aunt Trina!) We’re really looking forward to taking Riley to see all of the animals and promise lots of pictures to show her having fun with the critters.
One of the better gifts that Mom and Dad received was the ability to catch up on some sleep! Thanks to both sets of grandparents and cousins (especially cousin Meghan who took excellent care of Riley and gave 2 other great presents with coupons for diaper changes and baby sitting services so Mom and Dad could go on a date and enjoy dinner and a movie), we got to sleep in and not worry about getting up early with Ms. Riley. And Baby Boo was a trooper – she did great with the long car drives, charmed everyone that she got to spend time with, and adjusted very well to ‘non-standard’ nap times, feeding times and bed times. We are very fortunate to have such a smart, happy and well-behaved baby 🙂
We’re working on getting some new pictures up on the site, so keep checking back for updates. Thanks for all of the beautiful Christmas cards and holiday greetings. Here’s to a great 2008 –
Dad aka Mark

It’s kind of amusing that we get time off from work for Labor Day – not that I’m complaining, but it’s still amusing. The weather in NC still thinks that it’s summer for some reason – August had all sorts of record high temperatures and not nearly enough rain. So far September is off to a good start – mornings have been nice and mild with temperatures in the 70s and highs in the 80s instead of the 90s or 100s. Hopefully things stay comfortable and the worst of the heat is behind us.
Beth and Riley got back from their beach vacation yesterday, so I’m guessing that there will be a post from Mom in the near future. I’ve seen all of the pictures too – so those should be online soon as well (there are some really good shots of Riley with Beth’s family and some nice, scenic shots of the NC coast). Apparently Riley picked up a new hobby at the beach – feeding the birds. She has always liked watching the birds at our bird feeder, but she got to get up close and person and feed her avian buddies (with adult help) during her vacation. Baby Boo is also getting better at petting the dog and cats at home – she seems to be getting the ‘gentle touches’ idea, although she does get excited and a bit ‘grabby’ at times.
We hope that our friends and family had a good summer, keep checking back for more updates soon. Don’t forget to leave your comments to let us know what’s going on with all of you too!
UPDATE 9/3 – Beth has started uploading pictures from the beach, you can check them out here and here, and even here – enjoy!!

OK, I know it’s not officially Riley news, but I thought that I’d share some pictures and news from the 2007 fishing trip on the Ivanhoe River in Chapleau, Ontario. Mark, Uncle Tim, Grandpa George, Uncle Rich, and Chuck spent a fun week of fun, fishing, and fellowship. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The crew made great time on the drive up (we left early – around 11:30 PM or so) and we actually got flown in to the river on Friday instead of Saturday; we did a bit of grocery shopping and made a dent in The Beer Store’s inventory before we flew out;
  • The weather was interesting this year – it was in the 70s/80s when we first arrived at camp, the mosquitoes and black flies were our welcoming committee; from there – we experienced high winds, rain, cold temperatures (in the 30s – there was even a weather warning for ice pellets and wet snow in the area where we fish!); but we were able to fish every day, and caught enough walleyes to eat them most days and bring back a full limit for every person;
  • Speaking of fish – Mark was the repeat winner of the Big Fish contest this year – so I got to award myself this year’s prize (a new rod/reel combo and a collapsible LCD lantern) and agree to furnish the prize for next year as well (still working out those details, but luckily I have some time);
  • We saw plenty of wildlife on the drive up (a few moose, a black bear), and at camp (eagles/ospreys, beavers, loons, ducks, the rare Canadian water squirrel, and best of all – no bear were spotted near camp this year!;

That’s all for now – I’m sure that there are some details that I have missed, as I recall them I’ll be sure to update the post. If you’d like to check out some of the pictures from the trip – look right here. (Warning – there may be an image or two that aren’t suitable for kids, so adults may want to preview things ahead of time)

I know that it hasn’t been a month since the last update, I apologize for any medical emergencies the relatively quick update may cause to our readers. Things in NC are good – we had a bit of ‘wintry mix’ this past Thursday – Dad got to stay home from work and hang out with Riley while Mom braved the snow, sleet and freezing rain and went to work. Most of the bad weather missed us, but the snow was pretty while it lasted.
Riley continues to grow and she almost fits into her 9 month outfits! The legs tend to be OK, but the sleeves are still a little bit too long for her. Her hair color seems to vary day by day – sometimes it’s light brown, other days more blond, and sometimes you can even see some red/copper in there. Her little baby bald spot is slowly filling in, since she spends more time in her exersaucer and Bumbo chair that tends to help. It’s hard to believe that she’ll be 6 months old next week! Mom and Dad are both very grateful and thankful that Riley is now a part of our life 🙂
We are discovering another Baby Boo benefit – tax deductions! It’s nice to see a bit of positive cash flow come into the picture to help balance out the regular day care, formula, diaper, (and for Riley doctor visit) expenses! If there’s not another update before the 14th – Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone too.
UPDATE 2/4 – a few new pictures posted, check out the bath time cuteness here! (you can get the the rest of the pictures pretty easily from here)!


Flickr Photos

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