Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seen and Heard: LKA Edition


Windblown hair.

A tube catching air.

Cam taking a swing.

Doing his thing.

Riley's hide-and-peek-a-boo.

Flippin' a tube.


After she came in from tubing.
Me: Was it fun baby?
Riley: Um, yes.
Me: Are you sure?
Riley: Yes, but I like when it's more bumpy (ie faster).

If you asked her opinion it was always...
Riley: Go super fast!!!

Speeding over the water, wind in our hair, spray in our face.
Riley: Mom?
Me: Yes, baby?
Riley: This is the best day eber.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bear's Den

The best part about TG's job is that he has the summers off, which leaves our little family free for impromptu day trips and adventures.

A few weeks ago, we woke up to an unusually cool summer day. You know the ones I'm talking about right? Where the sky is perfectly blue, the sun is shining, a few clouds are floating by and it's warm but not humid. I was so excited when TG suggested hiking because we had a blast at Great Falls this spring.

We thought about heading back to the falls, but we've been wanting to try Bear's Den for a while. So I packed our backpack with a picnic lunch and we headed West.

Riley was very excited to go hiking again.

When we arrived we sort of winged it, chose a path and started walking.

Camden was exploring and walking way off the beaten path which was fine until it got a little harder to navigate.  Then TG took over and I got my favorite picture of my two guys to date.

The nature path made a small circle around the hostel and ended out on the trail that joins with the A&T trail.

There was a beautiful rock wall that we stopped to take pictures on.  Can you believe how old she looks?  She is such a big girl now.

1 out of 3 smiling, 2 out of 3 looking at the camera, we take what we can get.

We also discovered this tree with a branch that was perfect for perching small children on.  TG was just out of the shot making sure she didn't topple.

Of course little man had to have a turn too.  We opted for a lower branch for him.  If you look closely you can just barely make out TG's arm behind Camden.  Cam loved it up there!

We went about a 1/4 mile down on the main path and had no clue where the actual overlook was.  So we circled back around to the hostel for a map and a picnic lunch.  Camden tried knocking, but no one was home.

After we filled our bellies and consulted the map it was back out again in search of the overlook.  Riley wanted to run and jump.

We finally made it out on the bluffs.  See that blue sky I was talking about?  The visibility was great that day and you could see for miles.  TG was showing our babies the hawks circling in the sky.

She was thrilled to be there, she was not thrilled to be forced into photo ops.  Sometimes when we ask her to smile we get this face.  She said, "Okay, I'm happ-dee now, take my pitch-der".

Camden loved our adventure too and tried to lock us in on our way out.  

We are looking forward to going back again in the fall.  If you live in our area you should definitely check this trail out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

LKA: Riding The Waves

Riley can ride the jet ski tube alone, but if she's going on "the or-an-juh" tube, TG has to go with her. It's not because she's afraid, it's because I'm afraid.

Just check out her sweet adrenaline junky face.

We thought her first tube ride at 18 months was pretty daring, but her brother has her beat. After two days of listening to him whine and tantrum about everyone else having all the fun, we decided to give him a turn. He couldn't have moved his little feet any faster off the back of the boat if he tried. I was actually holding him back so he wouldn't slip and fall in.

He was so serious and completely ready to ride.

Is this a smug, 'Ha, told you I'm a big boy face' or what?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Very Merry Half Birthday

Yesterday, our beautiful little girl officially hit the 3 1/2 mark. This means that as of today she is closer to 4 than 3.


I say that with appreciation though. Obviously, we are over the moon to have a healthy, happy, vibrant 3 year old girl. We are so blessed and we are aware of that fact. But that doesn't make my heart stop wishing for time to slow down just a little bit.

Because I'm a sap for any and all special days, I've "celebrated" her half birthday since she was born. This is the first year that she had any kind of understanding what it was. That is after we explained about 50 times that it was only her HALF birthday and not her actual birthday.

I sang her this song a bunch of times - to the tune of Alice in Wonderland's UnBirthday Song.

A very merry half birthday to you!
A very merry half birthday, Riley Boo.
Today's the day, you're 3 and a half,
I can't believe it's gone so fast!
A very merry half birthday to yooooou!

Life with our 3 1/2 year old is never dull.  Riley is a non stop whirlwind of songs, make believe worlds, dances, imaginary scenarios of all sorts, Barbies, dress up, and princesses.  She loves being on the go, having adventures, and playing with her friends.  Lately she has been eager to spend more time at home and sometimes if we tell her we're going somewhere she responds with "But I want to stay here."

She wakes up smiling and goes to sleep smiling.  Every single day.  This is not to say that she is meltdown free everyday.  There have been a few times lately where she has made her opinion known, and boy can she throw a big fit with the best of them, but she is easily redirected and always ready to apologize and try again.

Riley is full of love.  I can't keep track of how many times a day she will say, "I wubs you Mom." and I'm soaking those precious words us up, stowing them away in my memory.  She is so proud to be a part of our family and often will say, "You, me, Daddy and Camden. We's a famil-wee and we stick together.  We wubs each other!"

She's learning new things everyday, adding more letters and numbers to her bank of knowledge.  She is a context learner and retains facts better if we link them to songs, rhymes, or experiences.  Riley's memory amazes us and there have been many times when TG and I will steal a surprised glance at each other over her head when she drops some random fact that we didn't even remember.  And song lyrics?  PSSSSH.  I dare you to show me another 3 year old that can hit every verse, punctuated "yeah", rap, and sound effect with the accuracy that she has.  We get so much joy in listening to Riley sing, bless her heart tone deaf though she is, she sings with gusto and we love it.

Riley talks from sun up to sun down and her thoughts just tumble right out of her mind.  She has wonderful insights, and keeps us on our toes.  Riley is developing her Daddy's sense of sarcastic humor and when she suspects we're teasing her she will smile at us and say, "Are you sneezin' me?"

As for her sweet sayings, I know most of my family and friends get as much enjoyment out of her word pronunciations as we usually do, but TG and I felt she should be making more progress in her speech development at this point.  We took her to speech pathologist recently and they agreed that she has some inconsistencies that need to be further examined.  They wanted us to spend a little time working on some exercises with her at home, but she may need speech therapy this fall.

Oh, sometimes when I look at her I can still see her in all her phases.  Rubbing her eyes like my sleepy newborn, delighted at the discovery of something new like my sweet one year old, or giggling uncontrollably like my spunky two year old.  But lately she's looking more and more like a very happy, super independent, beautiful 3...and a 1/2 year old who we love so dearly.

A very merry half birthday Riley Boo!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LKA: Totally Tubular

You should know by now that our princess has the courage of a lion and a thrill seeker's spirit. There isn't much that scares her (except for Chuck E. Cheese). At the tender baby age of 18 months she went tubing for the first time at Lake of the Ozarks.

So you can guess that by the feisty age of 3, she's an old pro.

Don't worry grandparents, she wasn't completely alone. TG was nearby just in case.

But by the looks of this little face you can tell she didn't think she needed grown up help. "More bumpy please!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

LKA: S'more Please!

After a hot afternoon of playing in the sand we were ready for some nighttime treats.

Our friend started up the fire pit and got all the necessary ingredients.

Wait, we're missing something...Ohhh, there's the marshmallows.

Little man was already in bed for the night, but Riley was able to partake in her very first S'more. At first she was uncertain and eyed the treat warily.

But then she took a bite and this face just about says it all.

Hahaha. Now that's a delighted face.