Life With Riley

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

Riley has had her first Thanksgiving that she actually participated in! Uncle Tim, Aunt Trina, with cousins Meghan and Madison came to NC to eat and have fun! Riley loves her cousins and uncle and aunt, I don’t think she had a minute where someone wasn’t playing with her. I almost fear for her teachers tomorrow, but time has shown she’s done a great job readjusting to daycare after holidays, so hopefully that will continue.
If you check out the flickr link, you’ll see a picture of Riley with Uncle Tim– yes, she went down a big inflatable slide with Uncle Tim and Meghan multiple times! She LOVED it! And I have ammo for the day she ever tries to call me over protective…
In other Riley non-holiday news, we discovered that she actually knows a couple of signs that we can’t figure out where she got them from. I know they use Thank You at school, but turns out she also knows “more”, “please”, and “book”. Yeah, the last one is not a shocker as the kid LOVES to read and loves books! When she starts making the same movements, we can google it and get a translation typically. “More” helps, but hard to figure out what “more” of she’s looking for!
She keeps growing in leaps and bounds– she’s still on the small side technically though, in the 25% for weight/height, but usually pretty healthy. She still has some issues with her ears and tends to get every cold and sniffle that comes within a mile of her, but she rarely lets it slow her down. She loves to play- with her little people, blocks, her piano, her stuffed animals– you can even tell her what to go find– she will find it and bring it to you!
Riles and Daddy have also been talking alot about how to spell Riley– she has a mug that has her name on it and Daddy has gone over it many many times with her. Now, if she’s paying attention to you and you ask her to point out a letter in her name- she usually gets it right! I think we might be in trouble…
Along with finding the letters in her name, she’s also good at finding people in pictures. She loves Seseme Street characters- Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster especially. We were at dinner the other night and they had a “find hidden pictures” on the menu– would you believe Riley at 15 months was able to FIND things in that picture? Look out Where’s Waldo!!!
There’s probably more, I’m just too tired to think right now. Mom and Dad have been under the weather for a while themselves. We’re keeping stock in DayQuil and taking care of each other best we can. This weekend with family was fun and we can’t wait to see everyone again soon in December!!!!!

Cough cough wheeeez wheeeeez sniffle sniffle whine whine…that’s been the most common combination of sounds and activities from Ms. Riley from about Tuesday until Sunday this week. She’s doing fine now and getting back to her old tricks (and some new one’s that I’ll mention shortly), but Riley was diagnosed with the croup earlier this week, she was definitely not feeling well for most of the week.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s official – Riley has joined the ranks of the biped, walking on two feet, taking steps with no help ranks!!! Beth and I both saw her walk a few steps between one of her toy chests and Beth’s glider. Riley is definitely not up to running a marathon or anything like that, and truthfully she still prefers the ‘I can crawl’ or ‘I can be picked up and carried to my destination’ modes of travel, but the walking is definitely a real situation now. Guess that means that we need to finalize the house proofing and relocating all of the items that are now within reach of Ms. Grabby Hands.
The weather in NC is finally trying to get close to Fall temperatures too. Soon it will be time to start up with Dad’s least favorite activity – the raking of the leaves, yukola. Along with the walking, Riley is working on learning more words and sounds. Most of the time she can tell you that a cow says ‘Moooooo’, and sometimes she’ll say that bunny rabbits ‘hop hop hop’ – although you can really only hear the ‘p’s, still very cute. We’re working with her to spell her name on some of her cups, it’s neat to watch her pay attention as we run her little fingers over the letters.
We hope that everyone is checking the Flickr site for more current Riley pictures – we are trying to share Beth’s day care drop off pictures as often as we can. If you haven’t been keeping up, click right here to check out the goodies! That’s all for now, hopefully we’ll continue improving on keeping the site and the pictures up-to-date.

But as most of you can guess, pretty busy!

Read the rest of this entry »

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!!

Well who would have guessed it – Dad finally got around to uploading all of the pictures from Riley’s Fantastic Fun First Birthday celebration! There are lots of pictures – so it should make up a teensy tiny bit for the lack of updates this summer 🙂 You can go see all of the fun that we had right here!

Can you believe it was one year ago today that Riley Anne came into our lives? I can not!

Read the rest of this entry »

Just a quick post before heading off to sleep ourselves, but Dad and I wanted to share the newest development in Riley’s life.
She’s been crawling like crazy for the last month or so. When I pick her up from daycare, as soon as she sees or hears me enter the room, she drops to the floor and flies over to me. I admit, it is one of the highlights of my day!
In her quest for mobility, she has been quite content to just crawl. I’d noticed that after she started crawling, she was finally starting to stand “flat footed” rather than on her toes all the time when we’d play. She soon started getting up on her knees to play but that was it. Not the first thought about pulling up on anything at all. Not at home, not at daycare, not on Mom or Dad, nowhere. This weekend she was spending some time in her pack and play (thanks again to the Hyre-Bennett clan!!!) and all of a sudden we look at her and there is a little girl peering over the top of the pack and play at me, big blue eyes and a HUGE grin, STANDING proudly! We were a little shocked that it finally happened- we knew it was coming but to actually see her do it, whoa!
So Riley is crawling and standing and trying to stand without pulling up on anything yet (that’s not going as well as she’d like). She’s babbling, loves to play, loves her dolls/stuffed animals (Belle is still the favorite), loves to play with blocks. She’s figured out how to put stuff in and out of stuff. She also loves playing with her cell phone (a very popular toy at day care, I think most of the kids have one for home now too).
She’s growing up so fast, she’s simply amazing. She’s just the absolute sweetest baby in the world and such a blessing to us. While sometimes I think this first year has just absolutely flown by, I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. We love our baby girl!!! And for now at least, she really likes us too. 😉

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)

Flickr Photos

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.