Thursday, December 18, 2008

verdict is in: riley loves the snow!

both yesterday and today tyler needed my car to get to work, so riley and i have been house-bound. both days we have only ventured out once to take a walk to the store (just two short blocks away) to pick up a few items. today i decided to let riley play in the snow. this is her first real snow, as last year she was just barely a month old when it first snowed. don't mind her horribly mis-matched snow outfit. we mostly dress her in hand-me-downs and consignment store finds, so we just kind of go with it :). she was pretty excited to walk around in the snow and kept trying to run down the front lawn, only to fall and not be able to get up. It was pretty funny. This whole event didn't even last 10 minutes!

i took this picture just out of my front window - what a beautiful ending to a low-key day.

tonight we are packing for our trip to spokane tomorrow. we hope that we can make it - the pass is supposed to be pretty snowy, and spokane has several feet of snow. it should be interesting, especially since we have to take our dog and are also picking up tyler's brother jon and his son bjorn. a squishy car! we will (hopefully) spend a full week in spokane with tyler's family for christmas - a first for us. then we will spend just a few days in seattle before we head back home the 28th.

i have much more to update - but will maybe have to wait until later. a peaceful and joyful christmas to everyone, if i don't get back here before then.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

our tree

on monday night we ventured out in search of the perfect christmas tree. except this year was a bit different than in years past. instead of cutting down a tree like we did last year, we drove the 5 minutes to youngstocks (a local produce stand) found the smallest (and cheapest!) tree, threw it in the back of our car and were home about 15 minutes later. talk about quick and efficient!

we decided on small tree this year mostly because of the adventures of our lovely little walking gal and her grabby hands. i imagined her pulling the tree on top of her, so i figured a 4 foot tree was a much nicer option than a 6 or 8 foot tree. we put riley to bed, then tyler and i spent the evening decorating the tree and house. we had candles lit, christmas music playing and were enjoying a nice dark seasonal ale. it was a lovely evening and the first festive event of the season for us.

(notice daddy's two helpers in the photo below!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

a few firsts

i thought i'd share a few pictures of riley's first ever cupcake eating experience. we had a family party for her in seattle last sunday, so i made a big batch of chocolate cupcakes for the event.

she didn't know what to think at first...

but after i helped her blow out the candle and handed over a cupcake, she acted like she'd been eating cupcakes for years...

i made a different set of cupcakes for her actual birthday last tuesday and let her have another one, and apparently she is not picky when it comes to sugar. vegetables, yes, but frosting, no. it was really cute watching her eat and at one point she just picked up the whole cupcake and tried to put it in her mouth. it ended up on her lap and lots and lots of crumbs on grandma's floor :)

we were undecided whether we should get riley anything for her birthday, being that she is only 1 and doesn't know what birthdays are quite yet. however, i had my eye on this chair for a while and my dad ended up getting her the chair and we bought the slipcover. she loves it! it came just a few days ago and we are having a lot of fun with it. the only problem is, any new item that enters our 900 square foot house causes a major re-shuffle. we are still trying to figure out the best spot for it, so for now it's shoved in the corner next to her crib. she doesn't seem to mind though...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

happy 1st birthday riley!

and so the rest of riley's birth story goes...

i labored all through the night, contraction after contraction, trying to fully dilate. my contractions were strong, but my body was just not cooperating! it was a long night, but somehow it went by pretty quickly. i think i was so focused and in such a rhythm that the hours just passed by. the sun starting coming up around 7am, and alas, i could start pushing! i pushed for 2 1/2 hours, in lots of different positions, but riley was just not coming. after much talk, tears and a HUGE effort on tyler and i's part, it was decided that she needed to come out via c-section. a big disappointment after several hours of really hard work, but we were beyond exhausted and so ready to meet our baby, we knew that it needed to be done. so out she came...

she was perfect the moment we saw her and i knew that we should name her riley - an irish name meaning valiant and courageous. she was "transverse" - her head was turned and facing the wrong way, a very challenging birthing position. friends and family flocked to meet her and we spent the next several days in the hospital admiring her beauty. her l o o o n g toes and fingers, her big bright eyes and her perfect shape. the day+ of labor did not seem to phase her - she was alert and looking around from the moment she came out.

she has been a true joy ever since. her vibrant and energetic personality keep me on my toes on an hourly basis - but i would not wish for anything different. she is sweet and full of smiles and has brought us more joy than we knew possible. i am blessed to spend every day with her. we are truly pals and i know these days are long and challenging, but something i will cherish the rest of my life. happy birthday to my sweet riley girl. i love you more than you know and look forward to watching you grow each and every day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

ten on ten (11/10)

i did something different for this month's ten on ten photo project. a year ago today - - - 11/10/07 - - - i was in labor with riley. i spent the day reflecting on last year: what i was doing, thinking and feeling, so i took some pictures that reminded me of that amazing day a year ago. riley's birth story started on this day...but it did not end until the next day. so tomorrow i will finish the story of her birth - on her birthday! - but for now, here are my ten memories from last year, as well as a brief version of what took place.

riley was 5 days early, so much to my surprise, i was awoken with my first contraction at 5am on saturday morning, the day after my last day of work. i was suppose to have AT LEAST a week until my "due date" to rest, tie up last minute details and just enjoy some down time. ha! riley had something else in mind for me, so we spent the next few hours laying in bed, shocked and a bit giddy that this baby was coming!

we spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon taking walks around the neighborhood enjoying the beautiful fall day. i remember the day being crisp, the sky blue, sun out and the colors standing out so vibrantly. tyler picked up some spicy thai food for lunch and i tried to rest as much as possible. (the picture below the sky picture is a specific street corner i remember having a contraction on!)

by the 4 o'clock afternoon hour i transitioned into active labor, so we spent about the next six hours or so in our back bedroom working through the contractions. i was leaning into tyler, on the ball and receiving some great massage from our doula.

we left for the hospital around 10:30pm (only 1 mile away!), checked in and got settled into our room. tyler brought our laptop and set it up with music and a picture slideshow. i spent many contractions gaining strength as i watched the pictures of our friends, family and beautiful scenery flash by - a really good idea for those of you who are preparing for labor.
and finally a picture of me on that day - huge and ready to give birth!!!
and the rest of the story will come tomorrow!

Monday, October 27, 2008

the weekend

This weekend Tyler and I had a date! We went to Seattle with some friends and dropped Riley off with my mom for the evening. We went out for dinner, dessert and to see one of our favorite's, Martin Sexton. I had never been away from Riley for that long - - - it was refreshing! And to know she was with my mom was the best feeling. We really miss having family here for that reason. The concert was amazing -check out his music if you don't know who he is. And this venue was one of the coolest I've been in.

The next day we attended the Harvest Festival at our church. It was fun to take Riley dressed up as a little giraffe, even though most of the games were not quite age appropriate for her yet. She did, however, win the raffle so her and Daddy picked out a little ball. She has already eaten a big chunk out of it, so I think it was a good pick.

Here is Riley sitting with a few of her friends - Willa, Asa & Lola.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

dear home,

we moved into you three years ago today. even though you are small, we still love you so. you have given us lots of warm nights and plenty of projects to do! we are very grateful we found you!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ten on Ten (10/10)

7am: 30 degrees out!

8am: Riley's daily book pile

9am: Shower while Riley naps

10am: My two little children watching as I load the car

11am: Heading to freeway

12pm: Arrive at pumpkin patch in Arlington

1pm: Riley loves pumpkins

2pm: My sister Martha & nephew Henry

3pm: Pumpkin ice-cream on the way home

4pm: Riley's 11 month weight: 20lbs 10oz (20#14oz after I fed her!)