Thursday, March 31, 2011

Off Duty

Kenny, Riley, and I have spent the last two weekends by ourselves at home, which you know I love. Kenny has gotten lots done around the house (cutting and fertilizing the grass, planting flowers in our front gardens, trying to make sense of the piles of paperwork in the office, etc.), and I have mostly been on Riley duty, although Ken was a big help when I was a little under the weather.

Darn allergies. I’ve never had to deal with them until recently. They suck.


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This past weekend, though, I was officially off duty for 5 hours on Saturday, leaving Riley in Kenny’s very capable hands. About a month ago I scheduled a 90-minute massage at a great spa not far from our house. And the big day finally arrived. I NEEDED that massage. Hefting the boy up and down and around all day is becoming much harder now that he’s pushing 20 pounds. My muscles were pleading to be pampered, not abused.

I really, really, really did not want to leave the spa. But I did, reluctantly, albeit slick with oil and feeling glorious.

If I could afford it, I would get a professional massage every single week. I know some people are weird about having a stranger touching them for a solid hour, but not me. Besides, the girl I went to wasn’t a complete stranger: I was booked with her by chance a year and a half ago for my birthday massage. She was so good you better believe I requested her again, which is mostly why it took so long for this day to come. It took four weeks for our schedules to finally mesh. Completely worth it, though; the woman is skilled.

After dragging myself away from heaven, I headed to a nearby CC’s for coffee. I had decided I would forgo my typical early morning fix and instead spend some quiet time reading my current book while I caffeinated a little later than usual. Another glorious half hour.

Two quick(ish) shopping trips to Loft and Kohl’s later, I arrived home, and it was back to business as usual. I missed my boys, but I sure did enjoy that time to myself.


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I may have to make it a monthly tradition.

Every good mom needs a break now and then, right?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seven Months

I swear, it seems like every time I finish one of these “birthday” posts it’s already time for the next one.

So Riley is seven months old. SEVEN months. Seven months old and already fitting into some 12-month clothing and a size 3 diaper. This kid is definitely a chunker. And we love it.


We went back to Dr. B yesterday for his booster flu shot, so I have official 7-month stats:

  • Weight: 20lbs 15oz
  • Length: 28 inches
  • Head circumference: 17.25 inches

Here’s what I want to remember from this month:

  • He’s eating well, taking between 24-28 ounces of formula, 3T of rice cereal, one stage 2 veggie, and one and a half stage 2 fruits per day. He is tolerating green beans and peas, but he much prefers the orange-colored veggies (sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots). He still likes just about every fruit he’s tried. And the great part about moving to the second stage foods is that there are a lot more options, so he’s also tried pineapple, blueberries, mango, plums, and corn.
  • His sleeping patterns have stayed the same, which Kenny and I are LOVING.
  • He has started making sporadic “ga” and “da” sounds.
  • He started sitting up early this month, and his strength and balance at this continues to improve.
  • He is really moving himself around on his belly. He started getting up on all fours early this month and now he’s rocking back and forth on his hands and knees. Crawling has got to be just around the corner.
  • He still drools a lot and puts just about everything he touches into his mouth. No teeth yet, though.
  • He does NOT like having his face wiped or washed. At ALL. He is fascinated by my hair and discovered his own early this month (his ears, too), which he sometimes pulls really hard.
  • He’s starting to prefer playing by himself on the living room floor, which I love because I get to watch from the couch and see what he does (and where he goes).

He’s becoming so curious about practically everything he sees, and he’s so expressive. Kenny and I are loving him more and more every single day. Here he is in all his seven-month glory, complete with a blue crayon band-aid from his shot!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bath Ring, Take Two

I am happy to report that we have gotten rid of Riley’s plastic bathtub and switched permanently to his bath ring.

It works so much better with just a few inches of water in the tub.

He probably doesn’t NEED it, but it does help to keep him stable when he’s fishing around for his toys in the water. One thing’s for sure: he loves his rubber ducky from Aunt Jackie and Aunt Lizzie!

And, as a special Tuesday treat, I have also included a video.

You’re welcome!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Video Monday: Silliness

My apologies for my absence over the weekend. I may start skipping weekend posting, though, in order to spend more time with my two boys. I hope you understand!

Right before Riley’s bath one night a few weeks ago, I had him laughing pretty hard on his changing table. Luckily, when he heard the squeals upon arriving home from work, Kenny thought to grab the camera and video a short snippet of the silliness taking place.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Magic of Books

I’ve said this before, but one of my greatest hopes for Riley is that he develops a true love for books and a passion for reading.


Basically, I want him to be just like me in this regard, NOT his father. My idea of a relaxing afternoon is to spend a few blissful hours in Barnes and Noble, browsing their shelves and trying not to become too weighed down by the titles I just HAVE to have.

Kenny, not so much. He’d be bored after only a few minutes in there.

Kenny never acquired a taste for books as he was growing up, even though his mom read to him just as much as she did to his two siblings (who both love to read). The same thing goes for my brother: he never became as interested in reading as I did, but you can be sure my mom read to us both equally.


It’s strange how something can sink so deep into one person and not at all into another. I’m currently reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and so much of what she wrote resonates with me:

"There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic."

"All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes -- characters even -- caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you.”

I have gotten so lost in what I’m reading that the clock turned to 2 AM many a night before I even realized how late it was. And I definitely have a tendency to carry over characters and themes in my mind from a previous read to a new one, mostly because I usually close the cover of one book and immediately hunt for the next. I ALWAYS have a book on my nightstand.


Kenny has told me he doesn’t like fiction because it’s not real, but that’s what I love the most about the books I normally gravitate towards. Authors come up with some amazing stories, imaginative tales that transport you to a whole different world, one you can always escape to, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day. I often need that little break from reality.


So I sincerely hope that one day Riley will want to read some of the books that I’ve loved over the years and also embrace newer ones that I haven’t read. The Harry Potter series, the Narnia chronicles, perhaps the Spiderwick and His Dark Materials series’, maybe even a little Hardy Boys, and yes, Nola and Nopsi, even the Lord of the Rings saga.


And I promise to take him to the bookstore whenever he wants to go to restock his supply.

It’s really the least I can do to keep him reading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Twelve Things

  1. Kenny gets really grossed out when I eat ice cream because I mix it into “soup” before I eat it. I’ve done this since I was a kid.
  2. I use Suave Rosemary Mint shampoo. It smells delicious and sometimes makes me crave a mojito.
  3. I hate being sticky. This could be problematic sooner than I’d like.
  4. Riley has no fewer than 7 nicknames: Bean/Riley-bean, Mr. Squiggles, Munchkin, Peanut, Bud/Buddy, Drool Man, Wonky.
  5. I used to call peas “balls” when I was younger. I went through a phase when I hated them, and now I’m starting to give them a chance again.
  6. My brother also used to call peas “balls” but now he can’t eat them. They apparently cause his throat to close up.
  7. Sorry, Jeff.
  8. I am watching the second season of Top Shot with my beloved every week. We watched it last year, too. Colby Donaldson has a way of keeping my attention.
  9. I could not live without my Aveeno Daily Moisturizing lotion, especially in the dry winter months.
  10. I really want to go skydiving one day. Kenny went a number of years ago as part of a bachelor party, but we won't talk further about that.
  11. I'm not bitter jealous or anything.
  12. I love, Love, LOVE this picture:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scrunchy Face

Riley has been giving me a little bit of trouble during mealtimes lately. He’s started making this funny face when I’m trying to feed him. He doesn’t do this only when he’s eating things that aren’t his favorite (read: peas or green beans) but at almost every single feeding, no matter what I’m giving him!

Crazy kid.



He has also started increasing his raspberry blowing during his meals. This was funny the first couple of times but now it’s just getting annoying…..I really don’t want to hose him down three times a day!

Or the highchair.

Or the floor.

Or myself.


Yes, those are carrots in his hair. Luckily, this was dinner, so he did get right into the bathtub when he finally finished eating.

I sure do love this kid.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Video Monday: Shadow

Every afternoon (if the weather cooperates, of course) Riley and I head outside to sit on the driveway for about 40 minutes or so before going back in to start his bedtime routine.

I love this time. Riley loves this time, too. He absolutely loves being outside and will immediately calm down even if he’s being fussy (which he has been in recent afternoons) and just look around, taking everything in. The trees moving, the cars going by, the dogs barking, the kids playing.

We started this little daily tradition a few weeks ago. This activity is a bit more of a challenge now because of daylight savings time, but the glaringly bright sunshine at 4:30pm isn’t stopping us!

However, the pictures below are from the beginning of this month, on a cool and sunny afternoon not long before sunset.

The day Riley discovered his shadow.


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These pictures were actually taken about 10 minutes after we first got out there because we had to go back inside to get my camera after I saw how he was reacting. He went nuts! He laughed, wiggled his body, and waved his arms, all in delight at seeing his shadow. I just sat there watching him, mesmerized by the joy he was exuding.

I do have a video to share (it is Monday, after all!), and although I unfortunately did not capture that pure, unbridled enthusiasm he exhibited when he first saw his shadow, I still think it’s pretty good. You’ll see that I had to catch him a couple of times because he got so excited that he started to fall over.

Not the easiest thing to do with a camera in your hand, especially one that is recording what’s happening. Everything worked out just fine, though, and I was rewarded with a really great moment on video.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rascal Flatts

Kenny and I were supposed to see Rascal Flatts in concert in New Orleans on February 4, but the show was postponed because of the freak ice storm that hit the south that week. They rescheduled for Sunday, March 13, so that was the main reason the three of us were in NOLA last weekend.

We left Riley with his Nola for the night. After a great dinner at Atchafalaya uptown (a wonderful place we hadn’t tried before….we’ll definitely go back), Kenny and I headed to the New Orleans Arena for the concert. Long lines greeted us when we arrived, but we didn’t have to wait too long to get inside.


Luke Bryan, whom neither of us had ever heard of before, opened up the show. Kenny and I both enjoyed listening to him; I may have to get his CD. His voice was country smooth, his songs were cleverly written, and he had great energy.


Then the main act came onto the stage: the three guys that make up Rascal Flatts (Gary, Jay, and Joe Don) and their band (all Louisiana boys!). I had been wanting to see RF perform live for a long, long time, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. They’re one of those bands that sound exactly the same in person as they do on their CD’s or on the radio, and they put on a great show.



Each of the guys took time to chat a bit with the crowd in between songs, which was a nice personal touch. (It didn’t take long before all three were wearing Mardi Gras beads handed to them by some fans.) They all seem to be really laid-back, down-to-earth, genuine people. And they’re funny!


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The show was fantastic, our seats were fabulous, and it was great for Kenny and I to have some time to ourselves.

You know, just the two of us.

With 15,000 other RF fans.


Special thanks to Nola for watching Riley-bean and giving us a night off!

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