Monday, July 28, 2008

Pics, Pics, and more Pics...

So we had our photo shoot last Saturday morning...it was hot already at 8:30 in the morning! The first set we did was the patriotic dad/daughter pics and Riley was not in the best mood as she was apparently super tired...it was a little earlier than normal for her morning nap so I was caught off guard. We had little flags for her to hold which was fun for her and kept us busy as she would want to put it in her mouth or come close to poking it in her eye...at one point we pulled it out of her hand to do something and that was when her meltdown began...she's still so cute even when she cries! We managed to still get some cute shots despite her little sleepy self!


After the first set of pics in Heritage Park we packed up and drove over to the playground and guess who fell asleep on the 2 minute drive over there...Miss Riley! So we let her sleep and I was praying for a "power nap"...after about a 20 minute nap we gently awakened her and she was just as happy as can be...many many more smiles for the second set of family pics! We had a lot of fun and Megan did an AWESOME job and so did "blanket man" or her husband Dave whichever you prefer...we were pulling everything out of the hat to get smiles out for the first set but she didn't make us work nearly as hard during the second set! Here are a few of the funniest ones with some comments and then all the pics are below on two slideshows...hope you enjoy! I love them ALL Megan...thanks again for sharing your talent with us!


"Daddy, please don't go"



"Rock On...God Bless America"


"Please don't vote for Obama"



Here are all of the Father/Daughter pics in a slideshow...

Here are all of our family pics in a slideshow...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Riley meets Papa John!

Needless to say this past week was a little rough as I battled with being sick...a cross between a sinus, allergies, cold, something or other...I have been sick for literally a week and am just now feeling like myself...I was home half of Thursday and all day Friday trying to just rest and get rid of whatever I had...luckily Jason nor Riley seemed affected! I am the type that NEVER gets sick and already this year I have had my first migraine, food poisoning, and now this! I hope that is all for this year...I am done!

Despite being sick...life goes on! The benefit of being off work a little was that I did get to spend time in my home....that sounds funny but I realized that we had not spend one day at home since June...we have been gone a lot! Saturday morning Megan took some photos for us and I have seen a sneak preview on her blog but will get all of the tomorrow and they are GREAT! I will share them with you when I get them and also about the photo shoot experience! After we took pictures we were off to the airport to pick up Jason's dad, John, from Tampa! This was his first chance to meet Riley and boy is he smitten with her...he was so good with her and took advantage of his short time with her...he even held her at 4:15 this morning while she was sleeping to get his last fill in before he headed back home!


While Papa John (this was the name Jason picked for him for now) was here we went to eat at Gauchos...a place Jason has been wanting to eat at since we moved here! This is a man's restaurant...a Brazilian steakhouse where they bring as much meat as you can eat...they didn't know they would lose money on these two! Needless to say they were full and I resorted to some pasta which was really good too. After lunch I was wanting ice cream so we drove through Shake's for my favorite Heavenly Angel! We had several Shake's in College Station so the Heavenly Angel and I go way back...we hardly make it to the Shake's here which is probably a good thing. When we got home I napped and we watched a really dumb movie, Semi Pro...like I said I napped! Jason and his dad went to hit a few golfballs and we just stayed in for the evening...stuffed from lunch! It was so great to see Papa John and we enjoyed every moment as I know he did too!



A few milestones for Miss Riley...she now has a second tooth and you can kind of see them in this pic! The second one just kind of appeared so she handled that pretty well!



Clappy Clappy! Riley has figured out clapping and she LOVES to show off her skills!



Waving...JoePa was working on waving when we were down in Texas and she has it down...it is so cute!


Sitting in a High Chair! We have one of those big pink flowery floppy seats that fits into the grocery cart / high chair and she is so cute in it. I love going to the store with her sitting up like a big girl...she just hangs on and looks around at everything! At restaurants it is much nicer having her sitting at the table with us rather than in her carrier all cooped up...I think she is enjoying this new freedom too!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wedding Fun...

We had a great time this past weekend going to Dallas for Jordan and Ashley's wedding. We headed out early Saturday morning and Riley and I both took naps on the way. We met Chris and Ashley for lunch at a great burger joint in downtown Fort Worth and then headed to their house to get all fancied up for the wedding!

The girls...Riley, me, and Ashley


Me and my handsome hubby!

Riley did great at the wedding...her new favorite toy is her little pacifier holder which is essentially an appropriately sized purse for her...what else does she have to carry around other than her binky? It is so cute to see her playing with it and that kept her entertained during the ceremony. The ceremony was great and of course Ashley was a beautiful bride!

Me and the Bride!


We got to see several of the Gator 2 buddies and Riley got to meet MOST of her uncles...they were so cute with her!

Uncle Matt...after this picture he said "So what are you supposed to do with these things?" HaHa!

Uncle "D"...in the video below you can see him teaching her his oh so famous dance moves!


video

Hilarious!

Uncle Chris...and of course Ashley...Riley found a new fascination...TIES!

Uncle Mike...Riley found his nose! She was so intrigued with Mike and he with her as well!

Here she is with all the Gator 2 Buddies!

When we got to the reception Riley was pooped and she took a nap to get ready for a night full of dancing and being passed around.

Here she is peacefully sleeping in her daddy's arms...no better place to be!

After her restful nap she was up until 10:30 when we saw Jordan and Ashley off for their honeymoon...what a fun girl! She danced with lots of people and had a good time taking everything in!

Sunday morning we introduced her to the "hot dogs"...these are Chris and Ashley two weanie dogs, Heidi and Jasmine! They were so cute with Riley and she wanted to pet them and pull on their ears and they wanted to lick all over her!


We then met the gang at Blue Mesa Grill for lunch...this place has the BEST Sunday buffet I have ever had...there is so much food and I wanted to keep going back but my stomach could not handle it...how sad! We had a lot of fun catching up with everyone and miss you guys already! Until next time...
Here's Derek and Lori with Riley!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

7 Months Old...



Today Riley is 7 months old...it seems too soon to be writing another month milestone blog! I feel like this month has been a big month of changes...Riley is just taking in everything like a sponge and she is so much more interactive and mobile...what a fun age. Here are some things Riley is doing at 7 months of age:

  • Sleeping 10-11 hours at night...she will still moan for the binky some nights but we are trying to make her work through that...it's funny because she never wakes up in that process...it's like she dreaming of binky land!


  • Touching everything with extreme interest in figuring it all out...what it feels like, what it sounds like banged up against something else, and her favorite is what it tastes like!


  • Moving and shaking...she is sitting up completely on her own and likes to play this way...there have been times when I sit her up with a few toys to play and go into another room and when I return she is not on her belly rolling around...we have to keep our eye on her! She has not made too many strides towards crawling yet but when she's on her belly she pushes her legs so she knows what's coming!


  • We have been working on the crying when someone leaves the room issue and she is getting much better at it! She is starting to understand that we will come back and we are starting to understand what her winy cry sounds like!


  • She is eating 3 baby food meals a day consistently and has dropped her bottle intake to 20 oz a day...she eats rice cereal mixed with fruit and apple juice for breakfast, a veggie mixed with fruit for lunch, and a meat and veggie meal for dinner...she is a great eater and nothing has bothered her so far! The last few days have been fun feeding her because she is much more involved with her hands and tries to bat down your hand as your feeding her...I think we could feed a small country from her bib these days!


  • She feeds herself her own bottles...in the morning Jason has been laying her down on the boppy, covering her little legs with a blanket, giving her bottle to her, and turning on some cartoons and she drinks her bottle and watches the only TV she sees all day! It is so cute and has become somewhat of a morning routine for her...this will be great when I am doing this whole parenting thing solo so I can get ready while she is "eating breakfast"



  • Talking up a storm...lately she says "ah-ga", "tha-da", "da-da", "thhhhheee", and "ga-ga"...she is saving the best for last..."ma-ma" that is! She loves to bang her toys and talk...it's so fun to sneak up and watch her play when she doesn't see you there...just wonder what is going on in that head of hers!


  • We are working on clapping hands and she gets it...she does it very slowly, but she does it nonetheless...she also like to wave with one hand but I don't think she realizes what she's doing quite yet, but it's so cute to see her little fingers move in the waving motion!


See? A lot has happened in one month! Riley started her big girl class on Monday (the 6-12 month old class) and she is one of only 3 girls so she is going to be tough! When I took her in there were three little boys just waiting for her to get out of her carrier and they were patting her and petting her on the head...she just looked at me like she was saying "Mom, where are you leaving me?" There is a little boy named Eli in her class that is a total flirt and I couldn't keep him away from her...he then proceeded to take her little bunny and cuddle up with it...Riley handled it well...so I set her down to play and she just had this look the whole time like "Ok...I'm not sure what is going on Mom but I will just go with it." She is such a sweet girl. This class is very different from her last class and I know she will learn so much so fast...she just watches everyone and takes it all in...they have this table that they all sit at and it's so cute to see her...this is really the age where this kind of interaction is so good for them! I can already tell her talking has increased just since starting this new class and I know crawling will be here shortly because she is one of the younger ones in the class and she sees everyone else moving around! So as I went to leave the classroom Eli would stop just hugging my legs...the teachers say he is a big flirt...even with the moms I guess! He is such a sweet little boy! I am so thankful for all of the great ladies that take care of Riley during the day...they do a great job!

Riley helped do some of the driving on the way back from Texas...we were tired, what can we say?

video

Here's some jumperoo video...this little girl LOVES to jump and even if you are holding her and letting her stand in your lap, she is jumping!

So I finally unpacked my bag from our vacation only to re-pack it since we are headed to Dallas this weekend for Jordan and Ashley's wedding...we have known Jordan and Ashley for about 6-7 years and had many fun times together in college...here is a picture of the four of us at the lake in 2003...we had just gotten Hank and had him at the lake with us.


We are excited about this trip because we will get to see a lot of our college friends and they will get to meet Riley...this will be her second wedding to attend and she's ready to dance again! I was helping pull together some pics for a slideshow for Jordan and Ashley and had fun reminiscing on the good 'ol days of college...I miss it so much! It was truly the best 4 years of my life and I have some great memories and lots of funny stories!

After this trip we are going to settle down for a little bit and enjoy our time together before Jason leaves...he received all of his deployment gear today so now it is in our house and it has become more real to all of us.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ending our lake time...

Is is our last night at the lake and it is going to be hard to leave in the morning...I have to say that this has been a great vacation because it actually doesn't feel like we just got here. It has been relaxing, fun, exciting, and refreshing, but now it is time to get back home. I tend to start to stress at this point in a vacation because we will get home late tomorrow and things will have to be unpacked, our house will be dirty, there will be a pile of mail, the fridge will be empty, and Monday morning will come very soon. This time, however, I am trying my best not to even worry about any of that but instead to enjoy every minute of this vacation up until the moment we step into our home tomorrow night. We needed this time together and with family and it has been wonderful!

Here are the last pics and highlights of our vacation...hope you enjoy!


Here is Riley keeping herself entertained with her car seat while we had a good lunch at Taipei in San Antonio...when we drove into S.A. it was POURING rain and Jason pulled up to the very front of the restaurant and in the time it took me to jump out of the car, grab Riley, and get under the overhang I was DRENCHED and PISSED! I have to admit I was in a very bad mood because I literally looked like I had just gotten off a water ride and now I was trying to come eat in a nice restaurant...it was cold, my hair was about to go crazy, and I had on denim capris so I knew it would take forever to dry. I was in a bad mood and didn't even want to stay, but Jason convinced me that I looked beautiful and we would have a good lunch and that we did...nothing a pony tail holder couldn't fix! Can I still blame those moments on hormones? I think I can and I will!





We spent the afternoon with Uncle Jan and Aunt Diane and that was a very special time for everyone. Riley gave them many smiles and they both loved the time with her and we loved the time with them! Riley got to sit on Uncle Jan's lap and she wanted to touch his face and feel his whiskers...she also wanted to play with his glasses but we put a stop to that quickly! Diane got to hold Riley while she napped and from personal experience there is nothing better than having a warm, limp, cuddly sleeping baby in your arms!



Before we left San Antonio, Riley and I went to work with JoePa for a little bit and checked on his jobs. You can see here that Riley worked so hard reviewing all of these plans that she had to take a quick nap to get her energy back. For those of you that have been nagging Riley to get a job consider it done...she is the newest employee of H.R.H. Construction...and she has the coolest boss ever!

Afternoon scrabble game...Jason and I got to play scrabble one afternoon...this is something we did when Riley was first born and it was such a special time for us and has created many great memories. Jason beat me pretty good however he also kept score and I did not audit the results so there could have been some manipulation...NOT...he beat me fair and square...we'll just have to play again! I also enjoyed a Diet Dr. Pepper float with the homemade ice cream while we played...yummy!

Lake sunsets...we will definitely miss seeing these every evening! It has been abnormally windy here the whole time we have been here which has actually been really nice because the heat is not bad at all with the constant breeze that we've had. We spent many mornings and evenings and even late nights sitting out on the dock just taking it all in!


Dad and Daughter time...actually family time in general has been great! Anyone who has gotten to experience Jason with Riley knows that this little girl will always have a special bond with her daddy...he is smitten with her and he lets everyone know! I have loved seeing them together and capturing some of their "moments" on camera! One of the funnies was while we were eating at Taipei and she got upset that we took away everything on the table that she wanted to play with so he got her Pooh bear toy and her moose toy and staged a fight between the two which involved voices, sounds, and stunts...needless to say Jason had lots of fun and it distracted her from all the things we took away from her!

Today we got to spend the day with the Morello family...Matt, Becky, and Sydney! Becky and I met at Texas A&M and she was my Bible study leader my freshman year...coincidentally her husband and Jason were also in the same outfit in the Corps of Cadets...we lead similar lives they are just a few years ahead of us...he is in the Air Force and they have a daughter Sydney that just turned 2! They have moved several times, but Becky and I have always remained very close and talk on the phone as much as we can and visit each other as much as we can as well...they are in Texas for just a few more weeks and then they will be heading back to Florida! We had a lot of fun with them today...swimming, boating, tubing, waverunning, and Matt got to ski even though the water was anything but smooth! For those of you that know Becky you know how much she LOVES cupcakes so my mom made some yummy banana chocolate cupcakes and I iced them with chocolate icing...just what we NEEDED! I wish we could have spent more time together, but we enjoy every chance we get!


My parents had a party to attend in San Antonio tonight so we had a night as a family and we went to a great local Italian restaurant and had a great meal! They had the BEST bread I have ever had...I could have eaten an entire loaf...or maybe I did! We had a good time and came home and have packed the car up...tear, tear! We will enjoy a nice breakfast with my parents in the morning and then off we will be back to Arkansas...Texas will always be home sweet home! Thanks mom and dad for EVERYTHING...we love every moment with you guys and will miss you! We love you Grammie and JoePa!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More lake fun...

Well we are still vacationing at the lake and what a vacation it has been...I can't even begin to explain how it seems like there is nothing else going on in the world when we are here...a true escape from EVERYTHING! We have been having lots of fun and loving ALL this time with Riley...she has done great and is a true water baby! A few milestones she has reached while we have been here is talking more...saying "da da" and "ah ga" and really trying to get her tongue to make the "the" sound...it is so cute! She is also getting her first tooth and one little part has broken through her gums...we have been medicating her and it hasn't been too bad! She is also trying to clap with some coaxing from her mom and dad...she tries hard!


Jason and I went on a "date" one afternoon this week and went and saw Hancock at the movies...it was a good movie and fun to have that time together. We also made a 24 hour visit to good 'ol San Antonio to see a few family friends and eat Alamo Cafe...we can't make it down here without a visit there!


Jason and I have also gotten to run together several times on this trip which is one of our favorite things to do together...probably more so for me than him because I like his motivation but I tend to get a little perturbed at the same time...it works for me but he kind of bears the brunt! Needless to say we still love that time together as well!


We have eaten some great meals and honestly I think I need to visit El Porton for some shrimp quesadillas when we get home to get sick and shed the poundage I have acquired on this trip...I am SO joking about that! We have eaten at Horseshoe Bay, Cooper's BBQ, Patton's, Tamale King, and had some great homemade meals as well!


Here are some more pics from our trip so far!


This is Barbara, myself, and Gabi in what we liked to call Margaritaville...we had been bragging about my dad's famous margaritas ever since Lance and Barbara arrived and it was time to prove it so he made us a batch and we got to enjoy them lakeside. Gabi mistakenly called them "mascaras" and when we referred to CJ as our Cabana Boy she once again mistakenly called him the "Banana Boy"...I wonder if someone slipped this little girl a margarita!



Riley holding her bottle like a big girl with JoePa

Daddy's little girl!
Playing in the yard with daddy!


Trouble...on the waverunner! Everyone survived!
Riley sporting JoePa's Texas A&M hat...what a cutie!
Jen, my best friend from high school and soon to be married woman, came over with her family to visit for a while...it was great to see all of them!
Riley loves her Gruncle Lance...in case you are wondering Gruncle = Great Uncle in our family

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lots of lake fun...

What a busy fun filled weekend...we have been "laking" all weekend and are just now calming down a bit now that all the company has left. We had a blast and are sad that everyone is gone...we created lots of great family memories...that's what the lake is all about!

Riley did lots of playing outside the past several days...I would put out a quilt and bring her toys and she would just play and play! She even napped out there on several occasions, but that also got us in trouble. Yesterday she napped for over 2 hours and while she started out in the shade, she ended up getting more sun than expected and actually has a binkie tan...yikes! It is really cute, but I feel horrible...please don't turn me in!

Riley and Kadie luvin on each other...how sweet!




Saturday night we had a great 4th of July celebration at The Hanlon's...we have celebrated many a fourth with them as my lake experience began when we used to rent a house just down the street for the whole summer with their family! We had lots of great food and watched a fireworks show to end the night...Riley slept through the whole thing!

Family 4th Pic...God Bless America!

Lance and Barbara...we're so glad you came!


Check out CJ with all the ladies...way to go bud!

Here's Riley with Aunt Whitney!

Sunday we lounged around, took a nice boat ride, took the kiddos tubing, and just hung out before Lance and Barbara had to leave! We have done nothing but eat since we have been here and Sunday was our day to clean up the leftovers...we did a fine job!
More to come soon...we miss everyone back in Arkansas and Riley wants to give a special shout out to her boyfriend Kaleb and tell him she's sorry he hasn't been feeling well!