Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Video Tuesday: Just the Right Height

Kenny and I have a memory foam mattress, so rather than bringing our entire bed to my parents’ house we decided we would just put the mattress on the floor and call it good.

Riley has especially been enjoying this set-up: the bed is now at the perfect height for him. He crawls up, plays in the pillows some, attempts to stand at the windowsill, then crawls down. He was extra cautious getting down this particular day for some reason, but he had already flopped himself down, headfirst with no fear, a handful of times.

This may just become a daily activity for him.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nine Months

Nine months. Two hundred seventy-three days. Three quarters of the way to a year.


We go for his first appointment with his new doctor in a couple of days, so I will have official stats in that follow-up post later in the week. In the meantime, here’s what I want to remember about this past month:

  • His eating and sleeping schedule is still the same, although in the past couple of days he hasn’t been drinking quite as much formula. (No idea why, but he has made progress with taking a sippy cup during his lunchtime feeding.) And he’s been waking up a couple of times at night (but settles himself very quickly) and has also decided to wake up for the day between 5 and 5:30. Kenny and I are not amused. I hope he goes back to normal soon.
  • He is so good at crawling now and he is pulling up all the time. He loves to stand. He’s also starting to inch his way around things while standing. His balance is improving every day.
  • He is getting very squirmy on the changing table, which is a real challenge sometimes. Toys are no longer a helpful distraction.
  • He’s doing a lot of head shaking these days, although it has slowed down a bit. I really do wonder what goes on inside that head of his sometimes.
  • He babbles all the time now, making a myriad of sounds, and he still mimics us every now and then.
  • He’s getting a little bored with his play area, so I’m going to have to come up with something different than what has been our routine for the past few months.
  • He continues to love outside time, although the warmer temperatures are not fun. (I have taken him in the swimming pool; the full post of that should be coming up soon.) He also can’t get enough of the leaves, pine needles, and twigs in the yard.
  • He is starting to get a little shy around people he doesn’t know really well, but not too bad yet. He does sometimes reach for mommy or daddy if in another’s arms.
  • And, last but not least, while Kenny and I were taking trips back and forth to the house to pack everything up, he managed to sprout his very first tooth. Right before he turned nine months. Maybe that’s why he hadn’t been sleeping as great…..

He is such a sweet, sweet boy, and it’s so fun to watch his personality emerge. We love him so much!


Friday, May 27, 2011

The Second Wave

Since we don’t foresee any problems with the sale (we close in less than one week!), Kenny and I were at our house last weekend, packing all of our possessions into boxes and bags. After a short debate, we decided to rent a climate-controlled storage unit in NOLA rather than stash our stuff all over the city at our friends’ and relatives’ houses.

I am way okay with that decision. The unit is very reasonably priced, and having everything in one central location will make moving it all into our new house much easier, when we do find a house. So we packed and loaded and packed and loaded, both my car and his car and also his dad’s trailer, and brought the second wave of our things to NOLA last Sunday afternoon.


We seriously looked like the Clampetts. All we needed was Riley-bean strapped into his carseat on top of the pile and the picture would have been complete.

However, we did not have Riley with us. Thanks to Nola, who watched the boy for four days and three nights, I was able to go up a day earlier than Kenny, and I got SO much done before he even arrived at the house. I focused mostly on the kitchen, but I was able to tackle various other places as well. I had many walls lined up with boxes, fully packed and ready to be taken away. I took all of our wall art/pictures down and corralled them into one place, and I did the same with our lamps. I purged a small pile of things we never used. And I completely emptied one bathroom, two storage closets, and Riley’s whole room.

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I actually packed too much too early: Kenny has this thing about saving almost every single box he puts his hands on. But most of those boxes were still up in the attic, strategically (and somewhat precariously) arranged. He had gotten down a decent pile the last time he was at the house, and I did have to venture up there once myself for more. When he was able to get ALL of the boxes down on Saturday morning, we discovered many for things that I had already packed. Oh well!


After working very hard, we felt we deserved a break. A reward for our (necessary) efforts, if you will. So we took full advantage of being sans kid and went out to dinner at one of our favorite places in the city. We decided that no matter what we would stop working at 6pm on Saturday, take showers, get dressed, and go out for a nice meal.

Okay, so we actually didn’t cease operations until almost 7, but we did go out and we did have a really nice dinner. And we were taken care of by Mike, the same fabulous waiter we had the last time we ate at this place, which was sometime in my third trimester of pregnancy. He actually remembered us, and when we told him we were there for one last dinner before we moved, he gave us dessert on the house.

Mike, I may miss you most of all. The whole meal was absolutely delicious, but those fried churros with the chocolate dipping sauce were phenomenal.

(And thank you again for the straw; as I’m sure you could tell, I did not let any of that precious sauce go to waste.)

So to wrap up, we have one more weekend of moving and then we’ll be out for good. And our house does not look like our house anymore. It doesn’t even feel like our house anymore. With many of our things no longer visible in their proper places, it’s starting to feel like just any house. And I’m glad for that. That lets me know that when we do find another house in NOLA, I can fill it with all of our things and it will become our house. Our home.

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But I’ll always, ALWAYS love our first.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Conversation Outside


Hi, Mom. I really like being outside.


Especially when you let me bring my whisk out, too.


Oh, and my garlic peeler. Can’t forget about it!


And Nola even gave me her cool hat to wear!


But Mom, why haven’t we been coming outside EVERY day? You know, like we used to?


Too hot, you say?


I do not accept that response.


Must. Come. Outside. More. (Please.)


Oh, well.


I guess you’re the boss of me….for now.


So I will do as you wish.

But only because you never let my pacifier crack get too far away from me. It makes everything better.

Even going back inside.

So…..what’s for dinner?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Video Wednesday: More Mouth Noises

You might remember me sharing these two videos back in March. Now, I am proud to say, Riley can make his own mouth noises. Without assistance from anyone else.

Notice I did not say without the assistance of anything.

It took me a few tries before I got him doing this really well, so skip to the last video if you like. Otherwise, enjoy the progression.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad

While Kenny and I were out of town this past weekend, we received the following email (with pictures attached), and I decided I had to share it with you.

I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did…..it certainly made the two of us smile!

dear mom and dad,

i am having a wonderful time with nola. I like her very much. she lets me do stuff you guys won't and she doesn't get irritated as easily as you do. and since she doesn't play words with friends, i get her undivided attention.


she does some pretty silly things, but she's just trying to make me smile and laugh; i accommodate her so that she'll quit making a fool of herself. i'm glad that it's just the two of us here; it would be embarrassing with other people around.  i've tried to push her to the limit, but she hasn't broken yet. there's two more days; i've got to refine my strategy.


my favorite time is bedtime when i fall asleep on her shoulder. it's very comforting. i'm glad we're family


here are some pictures she took of our last two days together. i tried to get as many facial expressions in as i could 'cuz i know you like that sort of thing. oh, and by the way, you should see the two new toys she gave me. they're cool and fun.


i miss you both very much and can't wait to see you again,

love, riley

Monday, May 23, 2011

Video Monday: Riley and Jem

Riley was completely captivated by my parents’ cat Jem as soon as he met him. However, now that Riley has been around him more, he’s not quite so enamored. He’ll still go after Jem most times (and can now catch him), but, surprisingly enough, his toys have just as much draw these days.

For Jem, it’s a different story. Understandably, he took a little while to warm up to Riley-bean, but now it’s almost as if he seeks him out. Before Riley came along, it wasn’t unusual for Jem to sleep the day away on an upstairs bed, only venturing down the stairs for a snack. If he felt like moving.

But now?

It’s actually becoming more common for Jem to sprawl out in the middle of Riley’s play area (that I still set up for the child every morning but which he doesn’t remain in for very long at all anymore…..I am constantly chasing him now that he’s crawling). And if Riley goes after him and manages to grab a handful of fur (which he does more often than not), Jem doesn’t run off like he used to. He just moves over a bit and lays back down, anticipating another Riley onslaught but not seeming to care.

It’s the craziest thing.

I’m glad Jem is getting used to Riley. I admit I was a bit worried, but hopefully they’ll become good friends as Riley gets older and eventually understands the words “gentle” and “soft.” Poor Jem; it’s a wonder he’s not developing bald spots in his coat.

So today, for your viewing pleasure, here is a short but exceedingly cute video of the two of them playing together. Please enjoy.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Annual Crawfish Boil

When I say the weather last Saturday was perfect, I do in fact mean PERFECT. Days like we had last weekend typically do not exist in southern Louisiana. We’re usually already glistening with sweat the moment we step outside, saying over and over again, “And it’s not even August yet!” I truly hope the Louisiana Mays of the future are blessed with a few perfect days like the ones we had this past week. Simply gorgeous.

We could not have asked for a better day on which to boil 185 pounds of crawfish and hang out with 40 of our friends and 14 of their kids. And this year wasn’t even our biggest boil! That would be last year, when we boiled 215 pounds of mudbugs and when we hadn’t met this guy yet:

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How cute is he in his little crawfish onesie! Or maybe it’s a lobster…..I really should know these things.

This wasn’t Riley’s first crawfish boil, but it was his biggest crawfish experience thus far. He got up close and personal with some of the bugs and even stuck his hand in the ice chest when I wasn’t looking. (Oops.) Luckily, no harm was done to those chubby little fingers.


Riley also got to meet a new friend: Mike and Kim’s daughter Aubrie, who is a month older than he is (but weighs 6 pounds LESS). The two of them were so cute together; they seemed to be truly fascinated with each other. And all of the kids loved when Aunt Lizzie sat down and blew some bubbles for them.

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I think everyone had a great day. The pool was open, the music was crankin’, and the crawfish were plentiful. I am so glad that Kenny and I continue to get great turnouts every year we do this. Some of our friends do Halloween, some do New Year’s, and some do the Fourth of July, but boilin’ crawfish is our thing, and I love it.

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Even though he did not partake in the actual eating of the crawfish, Riley certainly had a busy day, meeting new people and spending lots of time outside. So busy, in fact, that he refused to take his afternoon nap. He had only been in his crib for 10 minutes before Nola went to get him (I had crawfish juice on my fingers), and then this is what I found less than an hour later:


The little sucker. Thanks, Aunt Erin, for stepping in and holding my boy after he decided he did want to nap after all. I nominate you to be responsible for him at next year’s boil.

But wait! Before you accept said duty, just realize this:

He’ll be walking running by then.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Still Proud

Kenny got a job.

He went on half a dozen interviews, got offers from most of those companies, accepted a position on Friday, April 29, and started his new gig that next Monday.

I am still so very proud of him. I already knew he is good at what he does, but this process also proved to me that he is incredibly well-respected in his industry, for his knowledge, for his talent, for his work ethic, and for his personal character. To go on multiple interviews and to have offers come out of most of them is so impressive. I commend (and love) you, Kenneth Scott.

In other news, our house was only on the market for six short days before it was under contract. I still can’t believe it. I actually got the news the night I was at Corks N Canvas, so you can imagine how hard it was for me to concentrate on my painting after finding out there was a good chance we had just sold our house.

Even though I do love my house and hate to let go of it, I had visions of it sitting on the market for months and months and then getting frustrated that we couldn’t move forward with our new life in New Orleans. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem likely, even though it’s not a completely done deal just yet.

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We have gotten through the inspection and appraisal periods with only a few small headaches, and we are set to close on May 31, if all goes well with the buyers’ financing. My biggest hope is that the family buying our house will grow to love it as much as we did. And I also sincerely hope that we find another house here in New Orleans that we will love even more than our first.

As we have gone through this process of selling, I am beginning to distance myself from the life I lead before our decision to move. However, our last night in the house, just the three of us, will always hold a special place in my heart. I got teary that night four weeks ago, and I am getting teary again just thinking about it.

We went for our last family walk around our neighborhood:

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We of course spent lots of time outside in our backyard:


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We even gave Riley his fourth haircut outside that afternoon (not nearly as easy to do now):

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Then it was time to come inside and get Riley ready for bed, on his last night sleeping in his very first room of his own:

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I am grateful that Kenny took charge of the bedtime routine this night as I was very much trying to keep my emotions in check. (And take photos.) After Riley went to bed, the two of us had a normal night, eating dinner and relaxing on our couch in front of tv with a bottle of wine. The next day we made our initial move to New Orleans. Riley and I haven’t been back to the house since.


I haven’t seen the “For Sale” sign up in our front yard:


The next time I go back it will be to pack everything up to move out.

A daunting job, for sure.

But I’ll be okay.

And Riley will be okay, too. I took this video during the last week we spent at home. I’d like to think he’s looking around, taking it all in and committing it to memory.

From the way he’s smiling, I’d also like to think that he approved of his first home very much.

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