Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Little Baby now a Big Girl

One night last week Riley was playing one of her favorite games...putting Mommy and Daddy to sleep. I'm not sure where her fascination in this comes from but nevertheless she could play this game for hours.
Here's how you play:
Riley: "Mommy...go night night"
I lay on the floor and if I'm not laying precisely to her standards then
Riley: "Rooooolll over"
So I roll over and then
Riley: "Close eyes Mommy"
So I close my eyes and she precedes to take her blanket of choice and sweetly cover me up including putting the blanket over my head.
She then "pats" my back which is a term I use loosely because really she is slapping my back!
However, if I speak up and ask her to be gentle then
Riley: "Shhhhhh Mommy"
So I go back to sleep!
Well a friend of mine called in the middle of this game and if I wanted any chance to chat with her I had to come up with something for Riley to do...so I took Riley in her room and for whatever reason let her play in the blanket drawer in her dresser and by the time I got off the phone her room was COVERED in blankets!
Jason came in and we were folding them all up and putting them away when we spotted the hospital blankets that we brought her home from the hospital in...tear tear!
We were reminiscing on our former swaddling skills when Riley was this size...

I still remember how important the swaddle was...it determined the fate of our sleep!

Once she had fallen asleep after I fed her we would ever so carefully lay out the blanket, swaddle her up, and plop her in bed! We used to call her our Riley burrito!

So with all the blankets out we decided to show Riley how we used to swaddle her up!

And here's the big girl Riley burrito!

She quickly realized that she couldn't move and she wasn't to thrilled with that!

Milk makes everything better though!
It's amazing how fast they grow!
The last few weeks we have really noticed Riley's communication go to an entirely new level! She is talking back and forth with us, still repeating a lot of what we say, but also saying things like "Daddy make food" after seeing Jason cooking at the stove.
It's very cool to be able to communicate and reason with her!
She used to refer to Grammie and JoePa as "Geee" and "PaPa" and their names have turned into "Gammie" and "JoePa"...they are coming to visit this weekend and we can't wait!
I kept joking that Riley's New Year's Resolutions were to get rid of the "dinky" (pacifier) and to potty train...she's making great progress!
Potty training has gotten SOOOOOO much better and she is truly getting it. I wanted to throw in the hat those first few weeks because I wasn't convinced she really knew what was going on but other moms kept encouraging me to stick it out and I'm so glad we did. She is able to tell me when she needs to go and I am constantly hearing her say "No help" as she wants to do it all by herself!
Going #2 is always tricky because every little gas bubble she feels results in a trip to the potty which is great, but can be tricky as well. The other night she ran into the potty saying "Doodoo balls" about 5 times before the actual event occurred...it was so cute!
She only had a few accidents over the entire last week and I'm so proud of her!
If you want to know how smart this girl is let me tell you a funny story related to potty training! We have been way behind on watching American Idol so a couple nights this past week we would let her watch American Idol with us while we all ate dinner...she would be in her highchair and she was tougher than Simon as we would ask her if someone should go on to Hollywood and she always yelled "No"...frankly and to the point! One of these nights she was wanting out of her high chair and we were telling her she needed to eat some more food first. In the midst of this battle she yells "PooPoo PooPoo" and of course I jump up and go to get her out of the highchair so we can make it to the potty. As soon as I unsnapped the tray from the highchair she said "No poopoo No poopoo"...WHAT? She cried wolf just to get out of the highchair! We were shocked and realized how much we are going to have to watch that little stinker!
As for the dinky, we have completely limited it to naps and bedtime and while she sometimes will ask for it we do not give in and we don't take it anywhere with us...it was just as hard to break us from giving it to her as it was for her to not have it! I'm not sure when we will remove it for good but I'm fine with it just being used while she's sleeping! Having it fall out of her crib during the middle of the night is the only thing that will cause her to wake up so I think that will be a rough transition..one thing at a time!
She grows so fast but our love for her grows even faster!

Friday, February 19, 2010


When we first arrived in Cali ALMOST a year ago (still can't believe that) we saw a few rain drops and then the rain stayed completely away for months on end. Everyone kept telling us about the "rainy season" and made it sound like three months straight of rain! We have had a few weeks of LOTS of rain and flooding, but it honestly has not been quite like I ancitipated...not bad at all actually!
Last week we had GREAT weather...highs in the 60's and lots of sunshine! I welcomed it by wearing capris and flip flops at least one day!
Riley and I spent one afternoon outside riding her bike and going on a walk!
She decided to wear my hat and bring her naked baby along for the ride!

I love this face...I was pointing out the fact that an airplane was flying over us and this is her staring into the sunlight to see the "eeeerplane"!
Being a good mommy and buckling her baby in for a walk...nevermind the baby's head is almost completely turned around!

Off we go...
Awww...the baby needed some love!
Cutie patootie!
After she had walked her baby she decided it was time for me to take her and her baby on a walk and that we did!
Yay for sunshine...bring on Spring!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hitting the slopes...

Last weekend was our long planned trip to Tahoe with several friends...8 adults and 2 kiddos to be exact! We all took Friday off and sent the boys up early to ski all day and get the craziness out of their system!
Us girls left around 10 in hopes that Riley and Maddie would sleep on the trip...hahahaha!
They were ready to see snow and had fun dancing most of the way!

Wouldn't you know these two stinkers fell asleep 20 minutes before we arrived!
We decided to take the girls to Soda Springs which is a super family friendly place with an area just for little ones 6 months and up!

Here's me and my snow loving girl!

The kids area at Soda Springs was AWESOME! It's hard to find areas targeted to Riley and Maddie's age and I wish every ski resort had an area like this!

They had this awesome tube carousel that pulled them around and they could go faster and go over bumps by moving to the outside tubes.

Riley had a blast and just laid back in her shades for the ride...here's a cute video of us all cheering her on!

They also had a separate area with a tubing hill and a magic carpet to ride back up to the top...her first trip down she toppled into a man totally standing in the way and that was a bit of a shock for her but she got up and was ready to go again!

They also had this ginormous hill for Riley to climb up and slide down...I don't know how those kids made it to the top...even we couldn't because it was so slippery!

I taught Riley how to roll down the hill and she loved it...she would just keep rolling and rolling!
What a fun place!
After Soda Springs we headed towards our cabin to meet up with the boys!
We had a cute quaint and tiny cabin for our whole gang and unfortunately the heat wasn't working when we arrived...boo!
They gave us another cabin so we took advantage of the extra space and slept with the kids in the other cabin while the kid-less folks built a fire and kept warm in the heat-less cabin!
It was quite a horrible night getting Riley and Maddie to sleep...OMG...however we all got enough sleep to be ready to ski the next day!
Since the boys had filled the previous day with skiing us girls hit the slopes first thing!
Katie, Amanda, Me, and Ashley
Here we are riding up the lift!

After our morning of skiing the boys met us with the kiddos and we played in the snow...check out this huge snowball!
We all grabbed lunch and then Jason and I switched off playing with Riley and skiing for the afternoon! She never napped but did great!
Amanda and I were the LAST ones down the mountain that day!
We went and grabbed some Mexican food and headed to the cabin. I have to admit I was dreading what I thought would be another catastrophe trying to get the girls to sleep but Saturday night was MUCH better...thank goodness!
Sunday we packed up all our stuff and headed to NorthStar at Tahoe to ski for the day!
We hadn't been here before but they have a great childcare program and it looked like a great place so we wanted to check it out!
Riley played with new friends all day in this awesome center and did a lot of playing in the snow as well while Jason and I hit the slopes all day!
First the girls grabbed some much needed Starbucks and then we were ready to go!
We LOVED this place...there were so many runs that we never skiied the same ones twice and it was so nice and wide open...it was just great! They also had a great village at the base with all kinds of shops, restaurants, and an ice skating rink!
Me and the hubs before we caught a lift!
Ashley and I decided to grab a bite at the top of the mountain so we could maximize our time on the slopes...check out our huge turkey leg which we split...good decision!
After lunch we met up with the boys and skied the backside of the mountain where I am proud to report I skied down a black diamond and didn't have any trouble...there were no moguls but it was quite steep...it was so fun though!
We all rode the lift back up and then skied down the whole mountain and called it a day!
This was the first trip where I ended up being sore the next day...I guess that made it a good trip of skiing!
We picked Riley up from playing and headed home...luckily we didn't really hit much traffic on the way home either which was fantastic!
We had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Gotta love Valentine's Day crafting and baking!
I saw this fun idea on another blog to cover Oreo cakesters with fondant and sugar crystals and I had to try it. I had never worked with fondant before and it was actually quite easy. Here was my first creation!

I have to be honest...while it was cute...I didn't find it tasty. I, a person who ADORES sweets, actually found them to be too sweet, believe it or not.
So the time came to improvise and I had some chocolate morsels and decided to dip the cakesters in chocolate instead!
And here's the finished product...I think they turned out super cute!

I had them out for all my Bible study peeps and Riley gave several to her little friends for Valentine's Day as well!
Riley had a special project to work on for her Daddy!
Amanda and I took the girls to the paint studio last week and found these adorable LOVE frames for them to paint!

Quite the artist...
Now we're talking...
The finished product...can't wait to fill the frame with one of the pics Wendy just took for us!
Jason loved his frame and he completely spoiled both of his girls!
I received a massage, manicure, pedicure, and lunch...Amanda got the same gift so we can have a spa day and lunch together!
Riley got a Barbie MP3 player with headphones that she has been head over heels for since she opened it...and it doesn't even have batteries in it yet! I suppose once the newness wears off we'll put batteries in and it will be like a completely new toy! She also got some Skittles and SweetTart Hearts too!
Not to mention all the goodies her grandparents sent...we were all spoiled!
Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lovin' the Zoo

Last weekend while Jason was "working" in San Diego, Riley and I decided to head to the Sacramento Zoo with the Habbestads for a day of fun!
It was free day at the zoo and I fondly remember going to the Little Rock Zoo when it was free and being astonished at the crowd that it drew being free and all. Luckily the weather this past Saturday was "iffy" so the crowds weren't too bad although I have decided when anything is free it's a great opportunity to people watch!
We lucked out and missed the rain and had a great time...the zoo was better than any of us expected and despite not having naps both girls did well...as long as John kept the wagon moving!

Riley had a great time seeing all the cool animals!
Aren't they cuties?
Riley did finally get super tired and attempted to lay down on Maddie's lap and go to sleep...Maddie thought it was a game so Riley didn't get a nap but they had fun anyway!

Amanda and I...ready to hit up Chick Fil A after our day at the zoo!
(Notice how I'm bringing back the popped collar)
The girls had fun playing at Chick Fil A...they had a great little play place for them and they couldn't get into any trouble!
They both konked out in the car but were ready to go bonkers when we got back to the Habbestad's house!
They danced...and Riley insists on wearing bibs when she's with Maddie...peer pressure I suppose!
They jumped on the couch...
and jumped some more!
Then they got in Maddie's crib and chatted!
We had a great day...these girls sure know how to have fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Party Time!

Last weekend we had LOTS of partying to do!

Jason had gotten the itch to grill out and despite all the rain the week had brought we felt we might get just enough of a break to make it work so we just casually threw out an invitation to our friends, including all of my Bible study gals, to see who might be able to come over...and it turned out the pretty much everyone was able to come! We were thrilled and had to get ready for 25+ people to come and eat...woohoo!

Saturday morning all of us girls started out the morning showering Nicki with baby gifts for her soon to arrive baby boy Will!

We had a great breakfast spread, mimosas, and GREAT company!

Here's Nicki with all her gifts!
And here's the whole gang chatting, eating, and passing around babies...it's what we do best!
After the morning festivities were over it was time to get ready for our big cookout and we couldn't have asked for better weather... Jason was eating up his chance to put on shorts and grill outside!
Riley had a blast playing outside while we were getting ready!
Here's me and my little girl...notice her cute hairbands are being worn on her wrists as bracelets..this is her new trick and I have to watch her to make sure she doesn't have a hairband that's too tight on her little arm...she loves to accessorize!

I just love this pic...Dad and Daughter time!

Here's the grill man...he smoked three tri-tips and cooked 3 beer can chickens...we had a feast for sure!

Here's a few pics of the party...everyone brought sides and such and we had all kinds of good food!

And the kids...there were lots and they all played so well and had a blast!

Here's Riley and Zach playing ball together!
And the little ones...Katelyn, Oliver, and Levi...a baby dog pile if you will!

Kailey and Ashley came all dolled up in their fancy dresses and they were so cute with Riley!
Maddie had fun too, especially when Riley snuck her brownies and skittles! What are friends for, right?

Riley...my little mama! She saw Hannah and Becky sitting on the couch burping their babies so she decided she should burp her baby too!

To end the night we roasted some marshmallows and made s'mores...yummy!

It was a great night and we had a blast! It was so great to get all of our hubbies together because it's a rare chance that they are all home at the same time!
Just in case you needed prove that the kiddos had fun...here's an after pic of the playroom...haha!
Sunday we skipped church to recover from the late night before and to get ready for our family pictures in San Francisco!

I have known Wendy since August or so and she had photographed several of my friends. I wanted to get a family photo shoot in before Jason's deployment and really wanted to have them taken in the city with the Golden Gate Bridge...what a better way to remember our time in California?
So we headed out after Riley had lunch and she napped on the drive...just as we planned!
We went to Chrissy Field right on the water and traveled throughout the Presidio taking pictures. It was a beautiful day even though it got a bit chilly towards the end...and best of all we had so much fun! Wendy was GREAT with Riley and just let her be and worked around her!
She was pretty good but the "tricks" we used to get her smiling tended to backfire...ex: a small bottle of bubbles that would normally entertain a child ended up in some of our pictures because Riley wanted to hold the bubbles and Riley wanted to blow the bubbles...independence?
She loved Wendy and especially loved "playing" with her camera!
After a few hours of picture taking we wrapped things up and headed to Burma Superstar...a great Thai restaurant!
You can see a full slideshow of our photo shoot here...I was brought to tears watching this!
Wendy did such a great job and we will forever treasure these pictures!

If you want to check out all the photos she took the gallery is here!

What a fun filled weekend!