Wednesday, January 28, 2009

12 Month Check Up

We had our second snow day today (more on that to come later) so thankfully Matt and I were able to go together to her 12 month appointment. The doctor was very pleased with her progress. There was a funny moment when we let Riley down to walk on the floor and the first thing she did was walk over to the doctor on her rolling stool and start to straddle her foot. Yes, that's right Riley sees a crossed leg and the first thing she wants to do is horsey ride! The doctor was quite amused.

She did get three shots today and she was NOT at all happy about it. In fact the moment they lay her down and we have to restrain her she starts yelling up a storm. She got her first chicken pox today, another prevnar in her series and a Hib that she had missed from this summer. They actually stuck one in her arm this time which she was very upset about. After 5 minutes of sobbing she calmed down and we came home for a long nap.

On to the part I know you're waiting for, at 12 months and 4 days Riley is:

32 inches tall - well above 97th percentile
25.14 pounds - 97th percentile

P.S. Check back later for pics and laughs of a 97th percentile girl from our two snow days.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

That's What I Get

for trying to get our taxes done early! Let's just say I tried to be proactive about doing our taxes and I hit a snag. Actually the problem is a combination of two things...

1) I have "Momnesia" and with a long swim meet the night before, not a lot of sleep, and a first birthday party coming up I ordered the TaxCut software instead of the online way that I have always done.

2) And I think some of you all feel my pain on this one.... I HAVE FREAKIN VISTA!!!!!

After 35 minutes on the phone tonight with a tech and several "fixes" I was right where I started. Now, please let me state that the poor person trying to help me was very polite and very patient with my very slow moving computer.

However, there was one time during the call when I had to pinch my leg to keep from laughing out loud. As a ranger's daughter I am quite familiar with the "Military Alphabet", you know Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta...I use this frequently when I am spelling my last name to people on the phone so they get it right! The poor tech tonight was clearly never a ranger child because as I was being read the cmd sequence to type into the computer as a "fix" this is what I got:

Tech: Okay, let's see here, please type in the following: f as in uhh fuzzy, s as in hmm snail, u as in let's see umbrella, t as in tiger, i as in oooh iguana, l as in.....l as in....lion!

Me: Pinching my leg so hard, and holding my breath thinking did this guy just tell me f as in fuzzy and i as in iguana????

Tech: Okay now type resource, then s as in hmm can't remember what I used before so let's use snake!, e let's try elephant!

Me: Gut is rumbling now from holding in laughter because the guy is getting more and more excited about his ability to discern beginning sounds.

Tech: t oh i love it, turtles!, c as in computer, o hmm, ohhh, ohhh, hmm OPRAH!, d as in DELICIOUS! e as in oh yes elephant again

Me: Oh so I should type "set code" (meanwhile tears are streaming down my face)

Tech: oh yes, hmm, I suppose I could have said just type that. Okay last word - true!

Me: Dying because true is a word you should try to use the military alphabet for because over the phone it sounds like "TWO" "Wait, two as in the number or true?"

Tech: Yes, true. Now hit ENTER!

God bless his hard working soul, at work on a Sunday and God forgive me for finding his enthusiasm so amusing and God thank him for giving me a much needed laugh.

Riley's First Birthday!!!

Riley is officially 1 year old! Here are the amazing pictures that my friend Lindsley captured last night.

115 pictures
View Album at Shutterfly

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Riley!

One year ago, at 8:20 pm, we met you for the first time and our lives were changed forever. Your first year has been incredible, and we are so thankful to have such a happy, healthy, beautiful little girl. We can't wait to spend the rest of our lives loving you. From our hearts to yours sweet girl, one simple message, we love you.

Your Birth Story

This post is for you my baby Riley and I want to do it now because I realized today that your months are flying by and before we know it, it will be years that we are counting. I can still remember your birth, but I'll admit that as each wonderful day with you passes it becomes a bit more blurry...

Sweet baby, your due date was February 3, although I remember when I was doing the counting myself Daddy and I were secretly hoping you would be a Valentine's Day baby. Valentine's Day is a special day for us because Daddy proposed on that day! Even so we were thrilled to learn you would be a winter baby just like your Daddy, Gammy and Aunt Tata.

My pregnancy with you was wonderful! Even now I miss having you with me all the time. We were so blessed that you were happy and healthy the entire time you were in my belly! Mommy did have gestational diabetes with you but it was only for the last two months. Did you know that even though Mommy is terrified of needles that she learned how to give herself shots four times a day to keep you safe? It was because of the diabetes that you were born in January and not February, the doctors wanted to make sure you were safe and so they decided to induce Mommy and give you to me early. At my last check up they decided that Tuesday, January 22 would be your big day!

We quickly learned that you would do things in your own good time, but that's later in the story. Monday was a school holiday so Mommy and Daddy spent that day doing the last things to get ready; buying more outfits and necessities for you, cleaning the house and doing some resting in between. On Tuesday, Mommy went to work, can you believe it? I was very grumpy that morning because I was nervous and I was wondering what I was thinking when I decided many weeks before that I would work on that day. It turned out to be the best thing for me though because as you'll learn Mommy is a worrier and it kept me from worrying!

That night Daddy and I got ready to go to the Birthing Inn! We had our bags packed, we showered, we kissed your "brothers" Duke and Dahntay good bye and hopped in the car. I was SCARED, I even cried a little bit. I so wanted to meet you and hold you and love you, but having a baby is a pretty big deal! I talked to your Aunt Tata right before we went in and she said to tell you that she loved you.

We had to be there by 7:30 and they got us all checked in and settled into the room. We had a really nice nurse that night and she got me all ready. She got my IV going to make sure you were getting enough fluids and they gave me special medicine to try to get contractions going. That night was pretty uneventful and we just slept, sadly the medicine didn't work because you were still warm and cozy in my belly by the next morning.

Gammy had arrived late on Tuesday night and she came over on Wednesday morning with your Great Aunt Jo Jo. By then they had given me another special medicine in my IV to try and get things started. Wednesday was long and uneventful, I slept A LOT. Happily you were still safe and sound and thriving in Mommy's belly. They tried with more and more of the medicine until late that afternoon before they decided to stop for the day. The nurses said I could eat whatever I wanted and do you know what I asked Daddy to get? Chicken McNuggets! The nurse laughed and laughed when she saw me with the nugget box resting on your "home" and my cartons of sweet and sour sauce. She thought it was pretty funny that I picked McNuggets out of all the things I could have asked for, but that was what I wanted!

Dr. Roberts was on call the first two days and by Wednesday night she wanted to try another method to get you out! I will simply say that it was by far the worst part of my entire stay in the hospital and involved a poor hospital tech guy that had to search for a lamp because the overhead light was out and returned at one point with a flashlight. I promise to tell you about that when you are a little older! They call it a foley bulb, I call it pain balloon.

So the foley bulb was described by the nurses as, "100% effective in our use of it so far". Make that 99% effective ladies because you weren't BUDGING. On Thursday morning they started the IV medicine again and again the morning was slow going. By now Dr. Parks was on call and she was happy to let the medicine try. By mid day, your delivery doctor, Dr. Choudry arrived and he decided that today would be the day we would meet, no way around it. He broke my water and upped the IV medicine and that's when the show really got started. Gammy and Aunt Natalie were with Daddy and I by now.

I did have contractions and I tried to hang tough, but I think I only lasted about an hour and a half before I asked for my epidural. Secretly I was always TERRIFIED of the epidural, it is a needle you know, but that part was a piece of cake especially compared to the pain balloon. That little anesthesiologist guy knew what he was doing. Daddy looked even though I thought he would faint, but he didn't. By now I had two nurses with me, one of which ended up being a parent at the school Daddy worked at and she actually ended up in the delivery room with us and stayed with Mommy in recovery, more on that to come...

So after my medicine I was quite happy and not in pain so much as just lots of pressure. You were trying to come out, but after about 2 hours there was still not enough happening. Dr. Choudry came to Mommy and Daddy and told us that to keep you safe it was time to take you out and that we would have to have a c-section. Now, I absolutely wanted you safe, but I was very sad because I knew that I wouldn't get to keep you with me right after you were born so Mommy broke down into big alligator tears. Gammy cried too, especially when she found out that only Daddy could come into the surgery room with me.

They quickly got me ready (I cried the whole time) and wheeled me away while Daddy got dressed in his special outfit. I was pretty upset by the time we got into the very COLD surgery room, but luckily the head anesthesiologist was a VERY nice man. He got me talking to take my mind off of things and asked me of all things about my tattoo (which you are not allowed to have until you are 18 at least!). They had me take off all my jewelry and I actually had to have my Hawaiian name bracelet cut off! They tried greasing it, but I knew it wouldn't work because it had been on since your Daddy gave it to me 5 years before that on our anniversary. Plus my hands and fingers were VERY swollen during the pregnancy. Imagine Mickey's glove balloon times 10!

Daddy showed up right after that and held my hand while the nurses and Dr. Choudry were all trying to guess how big you would be. Dr. Choudry thought you would be little, 6 lbs., because my stomach wasn't too big, but the nurses were all saying you would be at least 8 lbs. because of how long my torso is. Then in a flash I heard the anesthesiologist telling your Daddy to look over the curtain! Daddy wasn't so sure, but the doctor said, "Trust me, you don't want to miss this." So Daddy stood up and right as he did I heard the most wonderful sound in the world, you screaming your little heart out as they pulled you up. The next moments are a blur, but I know that I kept asking Daddy if you were alright and how you looked. I was crying and Daddy was choked up a little bit too. They cleaned you and checked you out and got you weighed and Daddy snapped pictures the entire time.

Finally, the best moment of my life so far happened and Daddy brought you over to me and we met for the first time. You opened your little eyes and looked right at me and I told you how beautiful you were and how much I loved you. You stared at me and then started to move your mouth in a sucking motion. Poor thing you were hungry right away! We had a few minutes before it was time for you to go with Daddy to the nursery. I know that I was overcome with emotion and I just kept asking if you were okay and once I saw you I kept saying over and over again how beautiful you were. I even asked Daddy several times , "Isn't she beautiful?!?" to which of course he replied YES!

Riley, when I was pregnant with you I couldn't imagine what life would be like with you and now that you are here I just can't imagine my life without you. You bring such happiness and love to our little family. I am so very proud to be your Mommy!

Love you forever and love you for always,

Friday, January 23, 2009

Daddy's Girl 5

Riley's first birthday is tomorrow and it's as clear now as it was a month ago , two months ago, seven months ago, and at the beginning of this blog!

She is a Daddy's Girl for sure.

From Riley's First Snow!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Iron City Girl!

Before I start, let me apologize to Gigi and Papa, our family Patriot fans. The pictures don't lie, Riley's an Iron City girl through and through. This past Saturday we went out to cheer on our Steelers in the AFC playoff game against the Ravens. Clearly she's a good luck charm because we won and we're on our way to our 6th Super Bowl win ( ahhhem which will make us the team with the most SB wins in history)!

From Riley's First Snow!

Enjoying a #1 Pittsburgh fan favorite food: wings, celery and ranch!
From Riley's First Snow!

Okay, maybe more ranch than anything else.
From Riley's First Snow!

Annnnd guess what's on it's way in the mail?!?!
From Riley's First Snow!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My First Speedo

Almost a year ago, (and it feels so weird to say that), but almost a year ago this Saturday Riley was given one of my all time FAVORITE baby gifts from a dear college friend. The package arrived when she was a week old and among adorable infant tops I unearthed the gift that made me gasp, shriek and run into the living room waving it above my head. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you....

Riley's First Speedo!!!

From Riley's First Snow!

The turquoise embroidery on her chest actually says "My First Speedo". As if the swimsuit weren't cute enough, please take a moment to enjoy her "please stop photographing me" face, her wild child hair, and her little swimmies sticking out above her adorably roly poly legs. If that didn't do it for you I present...

From Riley's First Snow!

Her sweet baby belly sticking out in her cute pink Speedo. :)

P.S. That's one of her two sound machines that she's holding and she loves to press all the different sounds. She is an "ocean sounds" girl, but this one makes screeching seagull sounds so she's now a "waterfall and ocean sounds" girl. God bless the sound machine.


We knew that she would like it. I mean after SWISI was such a hit, it was a no brainer. We just didn't know how MUCH she would like LOVE it. Sledding.Outdoors.With.Snow that is. :)
From Riley's First Snow!

For the long weekend, 4 days including the Inauguration Day holiday!, we made the easy drive up to Whitetail for Riley's first snow and tubing experience. It was a BLAST. Our first step, which may amuse those that live up where it's really cold, we seriously bundled our child....
From Riley's First Snow!

Think Ralphie's brother from A Christmas Story for a reference. She couldn't put her arms down and she could barely walk because her balance was all thrown off from the layers we piled on her. That would be: tights, cotton pants, fleece pants, windbreaker pants, $4.98 boys snowboots from Target, a long sleeve onesie, fleece hoodie, big puffy coat, snow hat and waterproof mittens. Somewhere her grandmas are proud! After filling out her liability release form and handing over a well worth it $6 we were off to get her tube...
From Riley's First Snow!

She fit perfectly inside her mini tube which we loved because there was no way she was sliding or falling out. It conveniently had a tow rope to haul her up and down the hill. Notice her first "ski tag" attached to her zipper. The first two trips down the hill she was a little bit unsure of what was going on...
From Riley's First Snow!

But once she caught on there was no turning back. Just like with SWISI she strongly protested cried and pitched a fit if we even paused to catch our breath. It was COMPLETELY worth it though to hear her saying "EEEEEEE!" - adult speak WHEEEEEE! as she slid down the hill over and over again.
From Riley's First Snow!

From Riley's First Snow!

From Riley's First Snow!

We would have stayed all day, but once that lower lip started going into full on "I'm cold" chattering we left peacefully dragged her out of there kicking and screaming to...
From Riley's First Snow!

delayer and watch a little Mickey. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Introducing Lucky Horse

I've been seriously remiss. Not having my download cord over the holidays threw me and I forgot that I didn't post Christmas photos on the blog. Well, the wait is over my blog friends and today is your "Lucky" day (if you'll only forgive my horrible photography skills). We are so pleased to introduce Riley's new friend...

Lucky Horse!
From Christmas 2008

Lucky Horse is Riley's very own rocking, bouncing pony; a wonderful first Christmas present from Gigi and Papa. He truly ROCKS. Lucky's mouth moves as he sings, and whinnies, neighs and clip clops. He's got a really soft mane and a big plush body for hours of bouncing fun yet to come. Riley has already learned how to grab his ears to make the sounds go and loves to ride on him (with supervision). She was so delighted to discover him on Christmas morning!

From Christmas 2008

Clearly her Daddy was too...he claims he was testing him out for safety's sake.
From Christmas 2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Things I Love

Welcome to the second edition of Things I Love about our little Riley Boo. As her first birthday is fast approaching, I can't believe how much she's grown and just how different she seems everyday. Of course I love everything about her, but there are some things that she does that are just too darn cute to forget like...

From January 2009
Lately when I empty the dishwasher she tries to crawl up on and then STAND on the door of it. Today to distract her I gave her the empty silverware caddy and her spoons. She was very quiet for the four minutes it took me to unload it. To my surprise when I turned around I discovered she is quite aware of how to put her spoons in for a washing. Chore chart coming up!

From January 2009
I love that my kid loves Nilla Wafers as much as I do. I love even more that she opened the pantry herself, carried the box to the living room and had two cookies in fist by the time I exited from a 1 minute bathroom visit.

From January 2009

I love that Riley figured out a better use for this pop up toy. It was even cuter to watch her step on the buttons and pop open the doors that she intendend to stand on. It was almost unbearably cute to watch her sigh, kneel back down, close the doors and then try to use it as a stool again. She's such a daredevil, that adventurous spirit is from Daddy for sure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Laughing Queen

What do a half day SAHM mom and her sweet princess do with their afternoon? Well, we laugh of course. I LOVE her sweet baby giggles I'll do just about anything to get them. Luckily for me she's easily amused!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pop Up Books

A few weeks ago Riley discovered a pop up book on her bookshelf that she had received before she was born. Once I read it to her she was hooked and so mesmerized by how the little pictures popped up, out, and open. She watched intently a few times and then started opening the little boxes by herself flipping back and forth between the pages in 10-15 minute stretches. She's surprisingly pretty gentle with it and has only pulled off two pieces that were easily reattached with some Scotch tape. Here are some pics of the princess at Gigi and Papa's looking at her book with her Daddy.

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

If you're interested the book is called The Bedtime Bear and it's a sweet little story about a bear trying to make it home to his little boy before bedtime.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Not my buttons, not my gumdrop buttons!

Riley's first "gingerbread" man was a big hit! Her sweet daycare provider did this activity with her on the last day before the break. Riley helped decorate the little man and then ate him with gusto that evening.

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

From Christmas 2008

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Things I Love

I have a good memory, but there are so many little things about Riley that I love AND that I want to be able to remember some day. So welcome to the first edition of "Things I Love" posts. Just tidbits of things that she does that just make my heart melt.

Lately Riley Boo has been a squirmy wormy so I get my snuggles in when I can and on every opportunity that I can get. Most of the time she'll snuggle and run, but if I put my forehead to hers it stops her everytime and she'll stay still for a moment just head to head with her Mommy long enough for me to get a little squeeze in. That's definitely something I love.

From Christmas 2008

And who could help but immediately fall in love with these cheeks and baby smiles? She delights in carrying around things of all sorts, shapes, types. Notice her glee in two golf balls on Christmas day.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Today while riding home from picking up Daddy after work Riley was watching an Elmo DVD in the car. She watches a few things in there on longer trips and while she watches with rapt attention we rarely hear a peep out of her...until today.

She actually laughed out loud when Elmo got buried under a pile of letters flying in through his mailbox. This is the first time that she has actually laughed at something that was designed to make you laugh. We found it quite amusing that she has a sense of humor. We went back and let her watch that part three times just so we could hear her giggle.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Daddy's Girl 4

Just a cute moment that I wanted to share and post for memory...

Daddy was out this evening so I had bath duty tonight with the princess which is always a fun time. Riley LOVES to splash the water, play with her blue hippo, and "spell" words with her foam letters on the walls of the tub. Lately she's even more adorable because she says "uh oh" for everything...when I turn off the tub, when the water drips down her face, when a foam letter slides off the wall. An enjoyable time was had by all, blue hippo included.

As I pulled her out of the tub tonight and wrapped her up in her towels she caught a glimpse of this...
From Riley's Room

She thrust her little finger toward the middle picture and said "Dedeeeeee!" (Daddy in Riley speak). Then just when I thought it couldn't get any cuter she started waving at the picture of her Daddy. Sigh, you gotta love a Daddy's girl.

Peek A Boo

Riley loves to play peek-a-boo! Yesterday when I was taking photos of her room she decided to play an impromptu game with me.

She's behind the curtain on the right side, you can just barely see her little blue pants sticking out of the bottom.
From Riley's Room

The reveal....

From Riley's Room

From Riley's Room

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Riley's Room

That New Year's Itch is still going strong, so I managed to get Riley's room sorted, cleaned up and new things hung up today. Even more impressive I managed to snap some pics of it before she destroyed it again in the most pristine state it's been since she was born. So, sit back, relax and welcome to the tour of Riley's room.

Her first initial on her door claiming this room as her territory.

From Riley's Room

As you enter her room, this is on the wall directly to your right. The picture shelf was a birthday gift that Matt gave me when I was 22. The pictures inside are her 3-d ultrasound pictures. On top of the shelf is a little teddy bear she got as a gift from teachers at my school. In the frame is the onesie she wore home from the hospital.

From Riley's Room

This is hanging on the wall above her dresser/changing table. It's a beautiful pink Hawaiian Honu Quilt from the Swap Meet. It was a gift from her Tutu and Tutu Kane.
From Riley's Room

This is an AMAZING original piece of artwork done by Riley's Aunt Lolo. It was a gift for Riley's First Christmas and it's hanging on the wall next to her bookshelf. (This picture doesn't do it justice, truly it's beautiful)
From Riley's Room

The flower lights were an IKEA purchase, gotta love it. The name letters are a new addition, custom made by Riley's Aunt Tata as a First Christmas gift. (Again, my photography skills don't begin to capture how adorable they are!!!)
From Riley's Room

This is Riley's photo collage wall and it's hanging over her night stand on the wall next to her crib. It's a work in progress and I'm adding as I go.
From Riley's Room

This is Riley's crib, given to her as a baby shower gift from her Gammy and Gampy. Her bedding is an adorable pink and brown set that was a baby shower gift from her Aunt Tata.
From Riley's Room

This is Riley's "Hello Kitty" cool mist humidifier. The steam comes out of the ears and it lights up which she loves! (You can see it was running during the picture!)
From Riley's Room

This is the sister photo shelf to the one holding her 3d pics. This one is hanging up in her bathroom. The outer pics are of her during her very first bath in her tub, the middle pic is of her and Daddy after bathtime.
From Riley's Room

Riley's Hawaiian alphabet quilt given to her as a baby shower gift from her Great Aunty Jo and Great Uncle Frank. She LOVES to sit in her room and play on this quilt and touch the letters and pictures.
From Riley's Room

This is her bookshelf, another IKEA purchase! Riley LOVES to go over to this shelf and sit on the floor and "read" her books. The little lamp is a PBarn Outlet purchase, I love the bows on the lampshade. Her monitor is on the top with her new "Born to be a Patriot" piggy bank.
From Riley's Room

The rocking chair where we rock before naps and bedtime.
From Riley's Room

Her crib nest of pacis where she spends los of time these days. When she wakes up most days she will lay there for quite a while switching pacis over and over again. Then she progresses to banging them together. Then she stands and bangs them on the crib and then she starts to call out for us.
From Riley's Room