Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eight Months

Riley is 8 months old today.

Eight months old, 22 pounds, and 29 inches long, with a head circumference of 18 inches.


His eating and sleeping habits have stayed pretty much the same (although, we are possibly transitioning from three naps to two naps, which would be awesome), so I won’t bore you with those repetitive details. Instead, here are a few fun facts I’d like to remember about his eighth month:

  • He is finally eating like a normal human being again (lots less raspberry-blowing), but he does constantly twirl his hands and feet while eating. Too funny. And the drooling has slowed but continues; still no teeth.
  • He’s started to mimic Kenny and me clicking our tongues, as well as stick his own tongue out. And he very recently started making this cute little “purring” sound. I guess his dad passed down the ability to roll his r’s!
  • He loves his mini-massage I give him every night after his bath, especially when I get to his chunky little legs. And he’s beginning to rub his eyes with the backs of his hands when he gets sleepy, which is the cutest thing.
  • He is kind of starting to understand “no.” When I say it to him, he’ll usually stop what he’s doing and look at me.
  • He studies things very intently, and he is already beginning to understand action and reaction. He also started making a “ge” sound (with a hard “g”) this month.
  • He is officially sitting up, scooting, and crawling. He’s a pro at all three. And he is starting to pull himself up to a standing position by grabbing onto my arm, his music table, an ottoman, a box of diapers, etc.
  • He discovered grass early on this month and loves to rake his hands through it. He also loves shiny drains in bathtubs as well as all door stoppers. And I still can’t get him away from the laptop power cord. It’s a constant battle.
  • He is fascinated with my parents’ cats, especially Jem, the big orange one.
  • He outgrew his infant seat and is now in a big boy convertible carseat. Still facing backwards, of course.

Even though he has his tough moments that try my patience, he is ultimately a happy baby and such a sweet boy. Here is his official 8 month pic!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Video Friday: Walking and Splashing

The daughter of a good friend of my mom’s recently offered to let Riley borrow a few things her son has outgrown, and I jumped at the chance to get my hands on new distractions for Riley-bean. Although, I’m not entirely sure why, because if we acquire too many more things there will no longer be any room left in the house for us to live.

Oh, well. Here’s Riley in action in his new cruiser!

And, as I mentioned on Wednesday, Nopsi took Riley outside one evening last week to get him up close and personal with the pool water. I’d say the little bugger enjoyed it very much, so I’m glad it will only be steps away from us all summer.

However, I’m thinking I had better prepare myself to practically live in my bathing suit for three months or so.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Sunday, April 24 marked Riley’s first celebration of Easter. I wasn’t sure how the day would go since we had a lot of activities planned, but Riley did really well. We all woke up really early on Sunday morning so there would be plenty of time to be ready to go to the 8:30am church service. And the early rising was also so Riley could receive his Easter basket!


No, not a basket from his own parents. From MY parents, Nola and Nopsi. Terrible mother that I am, I did not put together my son’s very first Easter basket.

Give me a break! Life has been extremely hectic for us lately. Plus, Riley is only eight months old; what does he really know anyway? Besides, I KNEW that both sets of grandparents (and, as it turns out, 3 other pairs of relatives) would get him something, so I decided to let them have all of the Easter glory.


Nice of me, wasn’t it? I thought so.


Oh, and this is apparently what happens when I leave Riley alone with Kenny and Nola while I was getting ready for church:

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Of COURSE my husband put the child IN his basket. Of course.

I did not expect Riley to get through his second time in church as easily as he did his first, but he was an angel. He fell asleep a few minutes into one of the first songs, and I sort of had to wake him up at the very end of the service. My left arm got quite the workout for an hour, but it was worth it to look down into that sweet face.




After church, the three of us plus Kenny’s parents took a slightly impromptu trip down to the Quarter. Aunt Lizzie has played the Easter Bunny at Arnaud’s restaurant for a few years in a row, so we decided we just had to get some pictures of Riley-bean with her all dressed up. Plus, she was even able to take us upstairs and out onto one of their private balconies for the quick photo session, which made it even more special. Thanks again for taking time out for us, Lizzie; we had so much fun seeing you!

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The rest of the day was split between both of our families, so Riley was kept mighty busy. We had a late brunch with Kenny’s parents, and then we headed back to my parents’ house for an early dinner. I got one good outside shot of Riley in his cute Easter outfit (thanks, Ms. Rosemary!) before he had had enough of me and my camera. Luckily, Nopsi was there to distract him with bubbles, which provided even more photo opportunities. Then of course we had to end the day with an obligatory splash in the pool.


Whew…..I’d say our boy had a very fun first Easter. I know I did!

Special thanks to Nola and Nopsi, Grandma and Grandpa, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Erin, Grams and Bop, and QP and UJ for all of Riley-bean’s cute Easter gifts!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Snack, a Walk, and a Splash

We have been in New Orleans for about a week now, trying to get settled into our new digs and back on track with our daily routine. While he is still looking for a job, Kenny is going back and forth to our house to keep it maintained and clean while it is being shown to prospective buyers.

It’s only been on the market one week and we’ve already had five sets of people come through! Our fingers are crossed that this kind of interest keeps up and that we get a (good) offer soon.

All of Riley’s things have been moved to Nola and Nopsi’s house, so he is here for good. (I have some pics from our last day and night at our house, but I’m not quite ready to write about that yet.) We have Riley set up in my brother’s old room, and it’s almost just like his room at home, except with lots more space for him to roll around in. He seems to be adjusting fairly well, which Kenny and I hope continues.


Since we have been in New Orleans Riley has been experiencing lots of new things. He had his first taste of Nola’s famous yin-yang cookies:


He had his first go in a walker lent to us by the daughter of one of Nola’s friends (thanks, Lauren!):


And he had his first taste (literally) of a swimming pool, thanks to Nopsi:



Riley also celebrated his first Easter in New Orleans, but that is most definitely a post unto itself, seeing as how I managed to take 70 pictures throughout the day.

I really need to control myself when I have a camera in my hands. 

So my Easter post will be coming up next. And over the weekend you may just see some accompanying videos that go along with the walking and the splashing parts of this post. I guess I’m not going to slow down on my posting just yet!

It’s all Riley’s fault, really.

If he would just stop being so darn cute, then I wouldn’t have to document his every move and write about his doings on here.

I may have to have a talk with him about that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nighttime Crib Spying

Just about every night before I go to bed, I quietly sneak into Riley’s room to check on him and to stash a few pacifiers in his crib. He has been in a number of sweet (and sometimes interesting) positions throughout this past week, so I took the chance on a few nights and snapped some quick photos of him sleeping.

I love how black bear is watching over him as he sleeps in this one:


And in this one, Monkey has graciously offered himself up as a pillow for the sleeping boy:


Here, black bear is somewhat regretting being banished to crib life and hoping he can breathe free and clear again soon:


And, last but not least, I have no idea how the child is comfortable sleeping like this, but he is awfully cute:


Monday, April 25, 2011

Video Monday: Close to Crawling

Riley is really, really close to crawling. He gets a couple of good crawls in but then gives up and collapses onto his belly, where he’s much faster.

These two videos were taken almost a week apart from each other, and the most recent one is actually already a week old. He has continued to improve since then, but he’s definitely not at the point where he’s ALWAYS on his hands and knees. He still much prefers scooting around on his belly instead, “swimming” across the floor.

Happy Monday!

Update, Easter Sunday night, 9:53 pm: yeah, he’s pretty much crawling now. This video is from earlier in the day, one of a few I took when he was really crawling well on his hands and knees. He still scoots around on his belly a decent bit, but it seems like he’s getting the hang of crawling almost as fast as he did with sitting!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Scenes of Moving

Our big move to New Orleans is in full swing. I briefly considered not going through with it, though, after I saw the state of my house after we were through with our preparations.

This is probably the cleanest it has ever been. I kid you not.

We did so much work before listing the house, and I really hope our efforts pay off. Kenny pressure washed the entire exterior and built brand new front shutters to replace the rotting old ones. He also cleaned out and straightened up the garage. (I truly wish I had taken a “before” picture. Wow.) I cleaned and polished all of our kitchen appliances, vacuumed all of the blinds (man, were those dusty), and cleaned all of the baseboards and floors.

(I have decided that I want to pretend we’re moving again and thus do this same kind of deep cleaning once every two years or so. What a HUGE difference it makes.)

Kenny’s parents came over to help us out last weekend, and we couldn’t have gotten everything done without them. They assisted with the shutter project, cleaned the walls and patched all of the holes, and, perhaps most importantly, helped take care of Riley. They also graciously brought their trailer and took away an entire load of stuff we didn’t need here anymore.

Thank you both so, so much!


Riley has also been a big help to his dad and me. He packed up all of my books with me, and he assisted Kenny in fixing the floor outside of his bedroom. I’m quite certain those tasks wouldn’t have gotten done without him.

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Oh, and he also took a short break to watch a Baby Einstein DVD. He felt he deserved it after all of his hard work. (Note his favorite toy, never too far away from him.)


And of course we still set aside some time outside every afternoon. It was the right thing to do, for both our sanities. Even if it meant me sitting on our front lawn, not yet having showered for the day, still in the t-shirt I slept in, and my hair a wreck.

Such is my life these days.

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I did find a few hours one day to escape for a little get together with Gabe and Gaye, two of my old co-workers from the Center. We went to Another Broken Egg for lunch and had such a great time catching up. I miss those two ladies very much, and I truly hope the three of us keep in touch.


And now, if you will, please take a look at the picture below:


Each of those carefully wrapped, newspaper-covered objects is a pint glass, part of Kenny’s ever-expanding collection.

My husband has a sickness.

Please help me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ready, Set, Sleep

Although Riley unfortunately hardly ever falls asleep on our shoulders after his last bottle anymore, he's still usually in a good mood right before he goes to sleep. Here he is being extra sweet on his daddy one night last week.


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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Proud. That’s what a lot of people have been telling Kenny lately: “I’m proud of you.”

I wholeheartedly agree. I couldn’t be prouder.

Kenny resigned from his job two weeks ago. He had been with the same company just shy of ten years. He held a number of different positions, met a lot of great people, and learned more than he ever thought he could. But he was starting to get frustrated. And it was obvious to me that he no longer enjoyed going to work every day like he used to. He needed a change.

So we decided to move back home.


We had been lightly talking about returning to New Orleans for probably a couple of years. However, since our family increased to three last August, these discussions between us started happening more frequently. That third little person carries more than his fair share of weight around here, whether he’s aware of it or not.

Our families are in New Orleans, our friends are in New Orleans. It’s where both of us grew up; it’s the only city we’ve ever really called home (with the slight exception of our collective time in Baton Rouge at LSU).


And I’m not going to lie: it will be fan-freaking-tastic to have multiple built-in babysitters who will all probably fight over a chance to watch the boy.

And great restaurants never more than a stone’s throw away.

And getting together with my girls for monthly dinners.

And not missing out on any of the fun events our friends host throughout the year.

And many, many, many more things.

Thus, the moving process is beginning. We will be listing our house with a real estate agent very soon, packing up non-essentials, and slowly transplanting ourselves and our lives back to the Big Easy. We will be staying at my parents’ house while we search for a new home. (Thanks, Nola and Nopsi!) We’re excited to introduce Riley to all of the wonderful things that are so unique to living in New Orleans, and we hope that he enjoys growing up there as much as we did.

Oh, but then there’s the little issue of Kenny needing to find another job.


Yes, it is scary, especially in this economy, for neither of us to be employed right now. However, Kenny has very impressive qualifications and experience (if I do say so myself), and he has already had some sincere interest tossed his way from a few of his industry contacts. So we are very optimistic that he will find something soon.


On the flip side of all of this, I admit that I am devastated that we will be leaving this house behind. I love this house. I love this neighborhood. I love taking walks with Riley here. I love that people wave to you when you pass by. I love that there are so many kids that live around us. I love that Rouse’s is less than 2 minutes away.

This was our very first house. It was where I first discovered that gardening is not for the weak. It was where I first realized that no house is absolutely impenetrable, especially for ants. It was where we hosted our first Superbowl without any of our friends. It was where we were first “booed.” It was where I learned that I actually can cook. It was where Kenny concocted his first batch of homebrew. It was where we continued our annual crawfish boil tradition and had great turnouts both years. It was where we put up our first Christmas tree as a married couple.

It was Riley’s first home.


It was where he watched slept through his first LSU game. It was where he got his first haircut. It was where the infamous “stretch” video took place. It was where I first heard him laugh. It was where he first rolled over. It was where he first started scooting around on his belly. It was where he first sat up on his own.

This house holds a lot of memories for us. And even though we’ll be leaving the house, we’ll always be able to keep those memories. Ones of Kenny and me as a newly married couple and first-time homeowners and ones of us with Riley and all of his cuteness. And I know we’ll make plenty more memories in our new house, whenever and wherever we find it.


So please wish us luck in the coming months; it’s going to be mighty busy around here. As such, I may not be able to post quite as much as I normally do. I will try my very best to write as often as I can, unless I become buried under a mountain of boxes and newspaper, surrounded by all of our worldly possessions, completely cut off from the computer.

In that case, please send someone to assist me.

Or have that someone just slide some wine or beer or gin in to me.

That might work just as well.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I absolutely love mangoes. My obsession started when Kenny and I were staying at a bed and breakfast on the Big Island in Hawaii on our honeymoon. We got a few pieces of delicious fresh mango included on our “appetizer” fruit plates every morning we were there.

A moment of silence for those fruit plates; they truly were things of beauty.


Mangoes can be a little difficult to select because there’s really no way to know if one is bad or not. I’ve had to throw away a few over the years, which is so frustrating because I had such a craving for one all of those times. And, they’re not the cheapest fruit.

Mango is one of the stage 2 fruit options, and Riley really seemed to like it the very first time I gave it to him. So when I cut up a particularly good mango for myself one recent afternoon (I’m on a great streak with mango selection right now, which makes me so happy), I decided to give him a taste of the real thing in its purest state.


Little dude went nuts and almost sucked the whole piece right out of my fingers!


I had to keep an iron grip on it so he wouldn’t accidentally choke himself.


I hope I have as much success with other “real” foods I introduce to him.


The possibilities are endless!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Video Monday: From Belly to Bottom

Riley can now sit up all on his own. These two videos are from over a week ago, and he is already a pro at going from flat on his belly to perched on his bottom. It’s like he learned how to do it in one afternoon, and now he does it ALL the time!

Such a smart boy.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Strange Place

Riley has found a new little area in which to hang.


Under his jumperoo.


Strange, I know.


But I’m trying not to judge him.

He’s usually pretty content when he’s hanging in his new spot.

And I am way okay with that.

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