Monday, February 28, 2011

Working girl...

The company I work for has been through a lot of transition over the last several months as we were bought out by a very large company based in has had its ups and downs but things have somewhat settled down and I got the opportunity to travel to Austin for a week to meet all of the new management. Jenn was in Austin with me so it was great to spend time with her too! We worked A LOT but had fun doing it...most of the time :)

I flew in Sunday and got to meet up with my family for dinner as soon as I got in!

My mom made us reservations at Bess Bistro...Sandra Bullock's restaurant on 6th street!

My cousin Kassie who lives in Austin was able to join us and we all got to meet her precious little girl Quincy June for the first time!
Quincy was a doll...the greatest thing was after I took this picture of her I would show it to her and she would literally crack up at the sight of herself...of course I kept doing it over and over because it was just so cute!

She was such a good little girl and we all took turns holding her during dinner!

The food was great and we had a blast!

I sure did miss Jason and Riley but got to video chat with them every day. It was sort of a rough week for me to be gone because Jason's commander was on leave and he had to fill in as the squadron commander all he had his hands full to say the least! I was happy to meet all of the new leadership at my company and it was good for me to spend some time "in the office"!

He handled it great but I think the exhaustion caught up with him because by the time I got home Friday night he had no voice and was pretty darn sick...Riley was tickled to see me and lucky for Jason she did all of the talking on the way home!!!

A Princess "Pack Pack" from Tinkerbell

Riley has been waiting for preschool ever since she turned 3 but all of the preschool classes in the CDC were full. I was getting ancy...or shall I say impatient waiting to see when a spot would open up for Riley and the week after our trip to Tahoe she started acting out for her favorite teacher which was very abnormal...I knew it was just time for her to move into a new classroom. Just about that time the CDC made a modified room for 2.5 - 3.5 year olds and had one of the preschool teachers come and lead the room. It was a baby step transition to preschool and I knew it would be great for Riley.

We told her about her new room and decided to go ahead and tell her it was kind of worked. Deep down she knew it wasn't preschool but she was excited about the change. She had been asking for a "pack pack" when she went to preschool so it was time to get the girl a backpack. She had specific requests... "pink with wheels and all the princesses on it!" I had looked around a few places including the Disney store but we were out of luck...apparently they only keep a lot of backpacks on hand during Back to School Amazon was where we searched.

We found the PERFECT "pack pack" and I showed Riley a picture of it...that was Saturday morning. We ordered with one day shipping but knew it wouldn't come until Monday or Tuesday and Riley didn't quite understand why she couldn't have it right then. So I did what I always do and conjured up a story to make it understandable in her world...or as my friend Nicki says I just make up can believe what you like. :)

Nonetheless, I told Riley that her backpack was being made by the one and only Tinkerbell and that when Tinkerbell was done making it special just for Riley the mail man would come and deliver it. Wouldn't you know that afternoon she was outside in the driveway yelling "mail man....mail man!"

That Sunday I had to head to Austin for the week for it was a Daddy Daughter week!

On Monday I was sitting in a slew of meetings and got a text from Jason "the pack pack is here!!!!!"

So he got to unwrap it and set it out for her and to say she was tickled is an understatement!

Ready for her pre-Preschool class!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sending the Welch's to Arkansas...

Being a part of the military means always having to say "see you later" to some great people...unfortunately it will continue to happen and it doesn't get easier.

Luckily we just got to say "see you soon" to the Welch family as they PCS'd to Arkansas...we know we'll always be visiting Arkansas so we will get to see them when we do. We sure do miss them though...what a great family!

We had them over for dinner and the kids had a blast playing and running around like crazy!

Riley, Ellie, and Easton

Easton and Riley secured this "secret" corner and they all kept standing up here and scaring each other!
It was hilarious to watch!

The best was when Jason got them all to go in Riley's room and then when they came out he scared the bejeebers out of all of them...there were all kind of screams going through the house...but the good kind!

We were able to get them connected with some of our good friends in Arkansas and we made sure they were prepared for tornados...yikes! Unfortunately Arkansas has broken them in quite a bit with the recent storms that keep coming through...I don't miss that...but we do miss the Welch's!

We can't wait to go visit!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meet Dolly Doll!

After dropping of Jason's family at the airport we headed home to get unpacked and get our house put together from the party...I'm so glad we had most of the day to do this because it was a daunting task!

Riley spent much of her day playing with her Baby Alive....whom she named Dolly Doll!

It was time to feed her baby and see what happened!
Dolly Doll talks to her Mommy and tells her that she wants to eat and play!

Riley fed her some peas...and then Dolly Doll said "I make a stinkie" and that pretty much sums up our day!

Feed the baby, give the baby a bottle, and then clean up the baby's diaper! I think we changed over 10 diapers...or shall I say I changed over 10 diapers!

It was so fun to watch Riley interact with her and talk back to her like they were having a conversation! She loves her Dolly Doll and she's such a good Mommy!

Since this day Dolly Doll has only gotten pretend food and bottles...Riley is just as happy and I am not cleaning up diapers all day!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Family Tahoe Trip!

So after Riley's party and our family Christmas we hit the road for a 4 day trip to Lake Tahoe. It was a great trip up and we saw the most incredible double rainbow during the drive!

We made it in time to grab a yummy dinner at Jax on the Tracks...another Diner's Drive Ins and Dives pick and it did not disappoint!

CJ and I...check out all that snow out the window!
This was my pot pie...yummy!

After dinner we headed to our condo to settle in!

We had a great little place with plenty of room for the whole gang! Riley slept in her tent in a room with Gaby and did pretty well.

The next morning we were ready to get all of our gear and hit the slopes!

Funny faces all around!

Riley loves the snow...and she loves to eat it too!

We could barely get her to stop eating in order to get in the car and go!

We headed to Homewood the first day and it was a blast! Riley had fun playing and climbing in the was the best powder and she just sunk right in!

Riley and her of her most favorite people in the whole wide world!

Riley got on her skis too with her Daddy and she did great!

We headed into Tahoe City for a great dinner and then it was home to get some sleep!

Someone didn't even make it home and Riley was so out that we got all of her ski gear layers off without her even waking up. I honestly kept making sure she was breathing because she was out cold! Skiing does wear you out!

Our second ski day we headed to Squaw Valley...where the 1960 olympics were held. We had not skiied at Squaw yet and wanted to check it out! It is a great mountain with a great village and we loved it!

We put Riley in ski school all day and hit the slopes!

Jason and I are off!

The LoRusso fam after a stop at Starbucks!

Riley had a great day at ski school and the rest of us had a great day on the slopes as well! We found some great runs and got the swing of the mountain!

We headed home for a homecooked meal and we ended up with a with a pooped out snow bunny!

It was only 5:00 when Riley fell asleep and we didn't think she would make it through the night but we could not wake her up either. Desiree and I made a grocery run and Jason's job was to get her to wake such luck. She was out! So when I got home Jason got to work cooking his famous minestrone... and I got to work putting Riley in the bath to wake her up. Well..she woke up but it was not pretty...let's just say it was a quick and loud bath. She did finally calm down and wake up to be a happy girl!

She got a little pep in her step and put on a dance show with Bubba!
Then she chilled on the couch and watched Shrek with Gaby and we got her down to sleep pretty easily!

We headed back to Squaw Valley for our last day of skiing and took Riley up the mountain with us. We started off the morning at the very top of the mountain for some professional family pictures and that was a lot of fun.

We then headed to a great area of green slopes to work with Riley but it was a cold and windy day and she was just miserably cold. So we went to a restaurant to get her a snack and get her warmed up!

What a great view!

Jason skiied all the way to the bottom while I took care of Riley and he got her some more layers so she would be warm.

She loved her new pink gear and was ready to hit the slopes again!

She skiied the entire mountain down with Jason and did a great job!

The rest of the afternoon we took turns playing with her and skiing...this was a girls trip to ski!

We called it a day and went to check out all the pictures that we had taken that morning and they turned out great!

Rock Band Family

All around the snowboard!

We love this family and all the time we had to spend together...lots of great memories!

We grabbed some pizza for dinner that night and then hit the hay...we had to leave early the next morning to get the LoRusso's off on their flight home!

What a great trip!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Christmas in February?

After Riley's pary wound down, the guests left, and we did a quick pick up of the house it was time for Christmas...that's right Christmas!

This was the first Christmas that Jason has ever been gone and we waited to celebrate with his family until they came out to we transitioned from Riley's big party to family Christmas!!!

We were also leaving the same day for our family trip to Lake Tahoe so we crammed a lot in and there were a few moments where I thought we were crazy for jamming so much into one weekend but it was so much fun! The deal was we had to get the house picked up and the car loaded before opening our Christmas presents. I hadn't packed anything for Tahoe since I had been busy focusing on Riley's party so I quickly got all of our gear together and the boys schemed up a way to get us all up to Lake Tahoe in one vehicle!

Once we were all set to go it was present time and these presents were the only thing keeping Riley awake because she was exhausted!

Here's the fam...getting ready to open presents!

DiDi, Doc, and the infamous "Buddy" CJ got some Aggie gear...he did ask for this we aren't just brainwashing him! He lives in Arkansas and is surrounded by a ton of Razorback fans but he still loves the Aggies too! Riley got a Baby Alive and a doctor kit...not to mention the princess castle that she accidentally "found" before her party!
Gaby got some Tom's shoes...I think she was excited!
We wondered how Riley would do getting new toys and having to leave them so quickly but she gave her baby who she named "Dolly Doll" a quick bottle, put her in a safe place, and she was ready to get to Tahoe!
We had a quick but fun family Christmas...thanks LoRusso fam for all the great presents!

I'm not sure how the guys pulled this off but we managed to get all of us and all of our "stuff" in the Tahoe...every seat had a person in it, we loaded up the car top carrier with 5 suitcases, and we used the hitch carrier to carry all of our gear and ice chest! I'm so glad we could all fit in one car because it made the road trip that much more fun!

What a full day...birthday party by morning, Christmas by afternoon, and off to Tahoe by evening!

Riley's Party Day!!!!!

Riley's Party Day was a long awaited event...this little girl waited several months to have her big party so her Daddy could be home to celebrate with her!

I hate to admit it but we didn't actually ever have a party for Riley's 2nd birthday...we did plenty of celebrating but no actual party so we made a big deal about this one!

We went back and forth between having it somewhere or just having it at the house but ultimately decided to have it at our house. We also thought it would be fun to do it the weekend Jason's family was going to be in town so they could celebrate with us!

I had spent the entire week leading up to the party making something every single day...the weekend before I set up all my decorations, one night I made marshmallow pops, one night I made 4 dozen cupcakes, and on and on. I have to admit I got in a little over my head, but it was all for my girl so totally worth it!

I had also worked hard doing a lot of preparing so I could go out Thursday night with Hannah and Nicki to celebrate Nicki's 31st birthday because her 30th was not so fun...we had to make up for it! So we went to Davis and had a great dinner and shared some mojitos!

Then we headed to a dance club and danced the night away to this awesome 90's cover band! We had such a fun night but were out WAY past our Mommy bedtimes...and I still had to be in a meeting at 7:00 the next morning, get all my work done, get the house ready for the party, get the house ready for company, and think about leaving on a ski trip just hours after Riley's party! About halfway through Friday morning I realized I couldn't get it all done so I called Hannah and she came to the rescue! She is a party planner by nature so I finished my work and she set up the entire house for the party...what a lifesaver! By Friday evening everything was set up, cupcakes were iced, the bounce house was set up, and we were off to pick up the LoRusso clan at the aiport! The next morning it was finally time to have Riley's party's the birthday girl herself! We did a "Sweet Shop" party and I set up an entire candy buffet!

Here's the rest of the spread...peanut butter and nutella sandwiches, jalapeno artichoke dip, and fruit salad!! There were little hands digging into the candy buffet the entire time..I loved it but their parents might have been unhappy with me later that afternoon!

The marshmallow pops were a hit...strawberry marshmallows dipped in almond bark and topped with an M&M made to look like cupcakes! Riley with her DiDi! We had a great turnout...I think there were over 20 kids alone and the weather wasn't cooperating so we had to keep everyone indoors! We bought Riley a bounce house for her big present so that was out for all her friends to play with! Riley got an awesome princess castle with a crawl through tunnel from DiDi and Doc for her birthday so we put that up for the kids to play with too and it was a hit...especially for the girls! I think fun was had by all! Faith, Hannah, and Bryn with sweet little Graham! The kids had fun checking out all the toys in the playroom too!

Ollie loved Larry the Fish!
Riley gave Carter some sweet hugs!
The tools were a big hit...let's put these kids to work!
Carter and Brandon playing a game!
Gaby made some new friends with the Levien girls...such cuties!
Eventually it was time to sing Happy Birthday to the special girl and she loved it!
Blowing out those candles!
Me and my sweet girl...I can't even begin to express how special Miss Riley is!
She sat with her Bubba and ate her cupcake!
Yum! I made Martha Stewart's strawberry cupcakes with homemade strawberry icing...they were awesome!

Riley's favorite part of a cupcake is the icing...she is just like her Momma and this icing was to die for!
We had a pinata for the kids to get even more candy!
Since we were stuck indoors and didn't have a safe way to hang up the pinata for a traditional beating we resorted to the other option of pulling strings...I had never seen this before but what a great idea...each kiddo pulls a string and only one will unlock the pinata and allow the candy to fall out...this way no one gets hurt!
Jason's making sure all the candy is out!
We asked that people not bring presents since Riley had already celebrated her birthday several times and had more than any girl could need but a few of her friends still wanted to bring her presents so she opened those up and got more fun toys!
What a fun and special day! Riley had an absolute BLAST with all of her friends and it was just a great party...we couldn't have asked for it to go better! It was great for all of our friends to meet Jason's family as well!

I sure love my little family and we were so excited to celebrate Riley's 3rd birthday in such a special way!
And we like to be goofy too!
Happy Birthday Riley!