Friday, August 31, 2012

Riley’s First Hurricane Party

No, I don’t mean we took the boy to the piano bar at Pat O’s and got him all liquored up for his birthday yesterday. We’ll wait at least a couple of years before we do that. I mean, he is only two.

Nope, I’m talking about Hurricane Isaac, the storm that barely qualified as a Cat 1 when it came ashore into Louisiana late Tuesday evening. Isaac managed to wreak havoc across the southern part of the state for more than 24 hours straight. Hard to believe but luckily for us, we haven’t had to deal with a major storm at all in Riley’s lifetime. Whew.

At first, Isaac wasn’t much to worry about, so we had ourselves a bit of a hurricane party. Kenny was home from work, so we cooked good meals, played lots, and enjoyed our little mini, unexpected vacation time together. We even walked up to the levee to see the lake before the storm arrived. Riley had a blast running around in the wind.


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After lunch, Kenny took Riley back out to play in the rain. It wasn’t coming down hard, and Riley was so happy walking around and collecting sticks and hanging from the tree while Mama stayed nice and dry inside. Thanks for making his day, Ken!


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Then on Tuesday evening as I was putting Riley to bed, we lost power. And we didn’t get it back for just shy of 48 hours. So. Much. Fun. I thankfully had Riley out of the bathtub before the lights went out, but we did have to read books and prayers with a flashlight, which he thought was so cool.


Once Riley was down for the night, Kenny warmed up our dinner on the grill, and then we killed a bit of time before bed by playing a couple of rousing games of Rummikub by candlelight on the dining room table. So romantic, right?


We would sadly not get much sleep Tuesday night: the noise from the wind and the rain was practically deafening at times. We lost two of the trees in our front yard, had some siding and fascia rip off from both the north and south sides of the house, discovered water coming into the attic as well as around the window in Riley’s room and the front door, and our back canopy was completely shredded. With all of that going on, I don’t know how he managed to do it, but Riley slept through the whole night. We even had to wake him up at 8:30am. Such a good boy.



Nola and Nopsi never lost power so, after a slightly sweaty breakfast at home, we finally decided to pack up our food from the fridge and head over to their house around 10:30 Wednesday morning. Hooray for a/c, lights, and internet access! Jeff and Erin brought Kate, Doug, and Fate over too, and our hurricane party was expanded. Kate and I had a nice nap on the little sofa in the kitchen; Riley “played ta trucks” and in the rain; Nopsi, Uncle Jeff, and Kenny cleaned up limbs and leaves outside and patched the roof once the wind slowed down; Nola made cookies and a scrumptious dinner; and we all watched the never ending storm coverage on the tv. What a day.



But Isaac just would not go away. The storm slowed down and barely moved, which meant we kept getting more and more rain and more and more wind. When we woke up on yesterday morning (Riley’s second birthday!), the storm had mostly moved through but it was still windy and rainy. I was supremely grateful we had power because it meant I could make Riley cake batter pancakes for a special birthday breakfast.


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Sadly, nothing else I had planned to do with my boy (bouncing at the mall and lunch out at Gott Gourmet) was possible, but at least he got to spend his birthday surrounded by lots of family. We’re still planning to have his party on Saturday morning, with only minor adjustments. I may be crazed running around doing last minute things for most of today, but it will be worth it.

So, Riley-bean has officially survived his first hurricane, and over his birthday no less. I think everyone’s fingers are crossed that this is the worst we have to deal with his hurricane season, but my brother and I are so grateful we had a place to take our families that had power the whole time. That certainly made things much easier. Thanks for letting us move in with you for a couple of days, Nola and Nopsi! We greatly appreciate your generosity and hospitality!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Two Years Old {Happy Birthday, Riley-bean}

Dear Riley-bean,

You are two years old today, my sweet boy. Happy Happy Birthday!

You weigh 30 pounds and stand about 36 inches tall. You certainly are a growing boy, and you are told all the time that you look and act much older than you really are. You still talk constantly, and you continue to amaze everyone who comes into contact with you at just how well you speak for your age. My favorite phrases of yours lately are “oh bumpers” (from Chuggington), “simple as that,” and “don’t get your panties in a wad.”

You know your last name. You also yell out random names and words as you are going around the house: “Mama! Daddy! Riley! Come over here! Window! Alligator!” You also said this month, “Cute. Kinda like toot!” Silly goose. You also started asking, “Wanna be funny?” when the people around you are laughing at something, simply because you want to be a part of the fun. When you get a positive response to your question, you giggle and chuckle to yourself. I need to get this on video one day soon because it is so cute.

You’re still mixing up your pronouns. You say “you” when you’re talking about yourself and “me” or “I” when you’re talking about someone else. Daddy and I are working on this as best we can, but it’s a challenge.

You’re really testing out your volume these days, and Daddy and I are working hard to teach you the difference between an inside voice and an outside one. Seriously, though, son, stop screaming when we’re in public! Even though you don’t do it often, it’s not nice for the people around us.

You tried salsa, pecans, and thyme this month, as well as Abita root beer. You are having a little trouble eating well at all three meals. Unless it’s a Nutri-Grain bar (which you love), breakfast is a struggle. Lunch is usually fine, but dinner has been a headache for whoever is feeding you. You do like to dip things in ketchup, which helps sometimes. And I came up with the idea of taking bites for Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, etc., which only worked really well for a week or so before you caught on to my scheme.

You are stubborn and headstrong, just like your Mama. When you don’t get your way, watch out. Your turn those waterworks on, whine, and push your little arms in and out in front of you, determined to get what you want.

You developed a fascination with water towers this month. You’re doing really well with stacking things. You are also more interested in coloring these days, which I just love. However, I did not love when you drew on the white sofa with blue crayon. Not cool, son; not cool.

I’m not sure who started this, but you love when Daddy or I spell out names and words on your chest at night. You’re getting really close at knowing how to spell your own name (as well as “Bean”) but that darn “L” trips you up most times.

You really loved playing with your music table this month, and you seem to love music in general. You request songs often when you go to bed at night, and you even hum along with me when I sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” One of your favorites this month was “Aloutte,” which you at first called “Junta Lye-ta Lye-ta.” You also really like “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Row Row Row Your Boat,” and, of course, “Hey Fightin’ Tigers.”

You absolutely love Mickey Mouse and his friends. You request to watch the show numerous times every day. And you are actually absorbing quite a lot from the show because you reference things fairly often, like the silly switch, handy crane, silly gilly gumball, etc. Sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what in the world you’re talking about, but I’ve learned that it usually has something to do with Mickey.

You still give kisses fairly easily, and Daddy taught you how to give big hugs with both of your little arms wrapped around the neck. You’re proving to be more of a challenge (hello, you’re 2!), especially for me, but at heart you are still a loving, sweet, smart little boy. Daddy and I love you so much and feel so privileged to be your parents. I hope you continue to amaze and surprise us just as much in your third year as your first two.

Happy second Birthday, Riley Scott.

Love, Mama and Daddy


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Popsicle on the Porch

I have had a box of popsicles in the freezer for over a month now, and I just got around to giving Riley his first one last Friday afternoon. Huge summer fail on my part, but whaddya gonna do?


He took the worst nap he’s taken in months (therefore preventing me from napping as well…..drat), so I reluctantly got him out of his bed and took him out on the front porch for a little afternoon snack.

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He at first called it a “tricycle” and kept grabbing the popsicle part instead of holding it by the stick. Luckily, I had anticipated this and brought a box of wipes outside with us.


I think he likes it!


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Ah, popsicles: another one of childhood’s joys. I was maybe a little late in having him experience this particular one, but he didn’t seem to mind too much.


You sure are cute, Riley-bean, especially with a sticky popsicle dot on your nose. Silly goose.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Whole Lotta Randomness

QP sent me the best “just because” card earlier this month. She said it reminded her of our trip to Paris, and she could not have been more right!


Check out our brand new awesome mailbox courtesy of Nopsi. It is SO much better than our old metal one that required a key; now I can drive right up to collect our mail. I love it!


I made these peanut butter pretzel chocolate chip granola bars last week and they are SO. GOOD. I may or may not have added more chocolate chips than the recipe called for. Oops.


Oh, a classic Sleepy Bean. The first thing I thought when I saw him like this was “ole!” but QP says she thinks he looks like an Olympian. Although, I’m not sure for which sport…..


Wearing his super cute new shoes at Jazzercise while eating a cookie. Could life be any better for this child?


Kenny snapped this pic with his phone after he tucked Riley into his bed one night last week. I had found Daisy and Minnie at Target earlier that day and he just had to have both of his new friends (as well as both of his giraffes) with him to sleep. Sweet boy.


Watching Mickey clutching his first received 2nd birthday card that, coincidentally, plays the theme song from the show. Great choice, Pops and Mae Mae!


Zac’s sixth birthday party was this past Saturday in Baton Rouge. As usual, Jaimi did such a great job with the Star Wars-themed decorations and food. Her organization and creativity further served to remind me how not ready I am for Riley’s party this weekend. Sigh.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Video Monday: Last Gymnastics Class

Last Thursday was Riley’s final gymnastics class of the summer. I took video throughout the class and then stitched it all together into one montage of the things they usually do. It’s a long one (9 minutes), but it really does show how far he came with his skills in just 8 short weeks.

He can’t jump yet, but he’s getting better. He learned how to hold onto the bar as he flipped over it, instead of always letting go. He does great with climbing and walking across the beam, and he officially knows how to do a tumbleset now.

We’re switching back to music classes in a few weeks, but I think he would like another round of gymnastics. We shall see. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy!

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Video Friday: Ew with Shampoo {Riley and QP}

Yesterday when QP was here for TWQP, Riley wanted to go play in the purple room (our guest bedroom/bathroom). I knew he would want to empty the cabinets under the sink of the extra toiletries I keep in there, and QP was happy to oblige his request.

When I heard them both cracking up laughing after they had been in there for about 20 minutes, I just had to go see what they were up to. Then I had to go get my camera and capture what they were doing on video. Let’s just say that one of my little bottles of hotel shampoo isn’t quite as full as it used to be…..

Happy Friday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Video Monday: High Flyin’ Bean

Last Friday Riley and I met Nola, Nopsi, Aunt E, Kel-Kel, Kate, Aunt Dede, and Uncle Dean for lunch at Zea. We won’t talk about how I drove to the wrong location at first (even after confirming the correct one before I left), walked in, didn’t see anyone I knew, attempted to reach someone on their cell, finally got a hold of Nola, walked out, put Riley back in the car, and finally arrived at the right restaurant where I met up with my understanding family. I was hot and sweaty, tired, and in need of a glass of wine (which I reluctantly did not order).

Pregnancy brain is a killer sometimes.

Add to that the fact that the chicken in my salad had to be sent back twice because it was still raw in the middle (I may have teared up a little) and that I also almost choked on a crispy noodle (after I coughed it up, quite forcefully I might add, Nola and I ended up having a good laugh over it), my day was turning out to be just perfect. The only silver lining thus far was that the corn grits were as tasty as ever and the manager comped my lunch. Swell.

Riley got a little restless towards the end of the meal, so Nopsi took him for a walk in the mall attached to the restaurant. They were gone for quite a while, and when they came back, Nopsi had a gleam in his eye and a very excited little boy in his arms.

There is something called FunZersize Bungee Jump set up in the mall, and that’s what Nopsi wanted Riley to do. After the brief but typical, protesting mom reaction required of me, all 8 of us hightailed it out of Zea and sped down to the jump area to watch my boy fly high in the air.

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Riley absolutely loved it. He obviously couldn’t propel himself that high on his own, but Nopsi had no problem stepping in to help out his grandson. Aunt E snapped a couple of pictures, Aunt Dede was crying out with delight, Nola’s heart was apparently in her toes, I took a video, and Kate naturally slept through the whole thing.

When his turn was over, Riley was practically inconsolable. He did not want to leave. He talked about wanting to bounce again all the way home, and it was the very first thing he said to me when I went in to get him after his nap. Luckily, he seems to have forgotten about the fun for now, but I may surprise him on his birthday next week and take him to do it again.


Thanks, Nopsi, for the unexpected yet entertaining post-lunch activity for my boy. But what have you started???

Happy Monday!

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