Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Jackson had his first trip to urgent care over the weekend after his buddy accidentally hit him in the forehead with a penguin grabber from Sea World. Poor guy had blood everywhere which made it hard to locate where the cut was coming from. Thankfully it was a small gash on his forehead near his hairline. Sierra urged me to take him to the doctor and luckily there was no wait! We had planned to check in early to our hotel room for a much anticipated office party for Pacific Debt, Inc.

The attending doctor told Jackson a few cheesy math jokes which I really appreciated as someday I will be teaching again and can use the new material.

What did zero say to eight? ...Nice, belt!

Jackson was glued instead of stitches because of the location and age...a bit wiggly as he sat in my lap being examined. At the end of our visit the doctor encouraged me to put Jackson on TV or commercials because of his advanced verbal skills. Um...ok doc can you tell me how to clean this wound please?

After a quick trip to the grocery store to get Jackson anything he wanted (he was pretty brave), I quickly fed Riley, packed, finished the babysitter's plans...and we were off to a night away from the kids!

We had a little too much fun and I officially pumped and dumped. Plus I have a bruise from a fall after leaning into a flimsy casino table. Sierra and I both spent Sunday in bed and the couch between kid duties. Ouchies for all!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thinking of those angels

As I drove to pick up Jackson from pre school I heard the news. Lives taken too early at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Jackson told me the three things he did today (my rule before he earns IPad time) and I realized those 26 victims--innocent children and teaching professionals--won't be sharing their day with their families ever again. Ever. I keep hugging Jackson and Riley and thinking about those families. Counting my blessings and saying extra prayers.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

10 Terrific Months!

Riley is 10 months old and it makes me cry thinking about how fast this year has gone by yet excited to see what 2013 has in store for us. 

She hardly would sit still for this picture! 
We have been blessed with this beautiful baby girl and her adorable big brother who all of the sudden is finally really fitting into his 3T pants and 4T shirts! As Riley's year has been marked by big milestones, Jackson keeps on growing in height, weight, knowledge, and abilities. Jackson learned to hang from the monkey bars this month with his muscles and is proud to show off his balancing skills. Jackson can't stop talking about his 4th birthday plans and we finalized his invitations this week. He actually came up with the list of friends to invite this year! He can't wait to have his Jake and the Neverland Pirate Party at Pump it Up. The boy loves to jump, jump, jump!

And Miss Riley Grace...she still continues to be our dream baby although she is looking and acting more and more like a toddler these days! Over her ninth month she discovered that if her hands are hidden in long sleeves (like when getting dressed), this is a little mysterious! "Where did my hands go?" She seems to wonder.

Helping to decorate the Christmas tree. 

Riley's hair is growing more and more and looks just like mine did as a baby -- fine and lots of it -- and of course a natural blond. Wink! Wink!

Eye color has seemed to change -- she has blue on the outer iris and green in the middle. So depending on what she's wearing, her eyes look green or blue.

She loves her dolly Babbette, her Cuddle Bear, her yellow blankie from Mommy Nannette, and Bubba.

Riley learned to throw a ball and roll it to us this month! 

Playing with the cat water fountain.
Riley is standing a lot and taking a few initial first steps. She still claps when she does this or raises her hands like a touchdown. I think she will be walking by Christmas. So much for her pediatrician's thoughts about Thanksgiving.

Speaking of...Riley enjoyed her first Thanksgiving and all of the fixings! She LOVES to eat! She eats three regular meals, two snacks, and sometimes an extra dinner with the family! She is still nursing at least six times a day and sometimes up to nine! 

Sleep is still consistent: 9-11 am, 2-3 pm, and 7pm-6am. If I am not at home before her naps, she falls asleep right on the dot and wakes her big eyes up as soon as we are home = missed nap. So I try my hardest to be home for naps! We all need it! 

Riley is super active and I think this might be why she hasn't walked more than a few steps -- it's too slow for her fast pace. She would rather race, or crawl, to what she wants. If the gate isn't up by the stairs she is over there in a heartbeat and cries when we put it up. Ha!

Over the ninth month Riley learned to give hugs and added two new teeth for a total of four--three on the bottom and one on the top.

Riley is using her words more and more: up, cat, Bubba, Dada, Mama, yeah, and hi. She waves goodbye, hello, and good night (for bed). She also learned to give high fives!

Santa's little helper decorating the tree!

Elmer Elf came into our home over this last month!
Riley is super patient and can play with her box of toys for up to 20 minutes at a time -- so different from Jackson as a baby. She has zero interest in TV (again so different than brother) and would rather dance to the music we listen to on a daily basis. She loves to dance and sing! I think she will be excited about her first birthday -- we are planning a musical theme for our sweet baby girl! February will be a busy month for us with two back to back birthdays for our little loves!

Elmer left us a North Pole Breakfast on December 1st!

Thanks, Brother, for holding this for us! 10 months flew by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa Visit

A picture says a thousand words. I worried that Riley might cry as she is hesitant around strangers and takes awhile to warm up and let go of me. However her little quivering lip produced not one tear and the official photo with Santa was snapped as Jackson smiled from ear to ear thinking about the Switch and Go Dino Santa said he might bring...and diamonds for Riley. Funny because Jackson has asked me what I want for Christmas and I always reply with, "diamonds!" Maybe there really is a Santa?! I still believe!

Last year Santa said Jackson was going to get a baby sister and he delivered--or at least I did. Since we had no clue if our Riley was a boy or girl, it was fun to hear his prediction.

We decorated the house and it took us two days with lots of breaks between but it's finished inside and out. I'll post some pictures later. Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I think this has been the best year in the ten years Sierra and I have known each other. We are so thankful to be able to provide for our little loves and spoil them a little too much sometimes. It is too easy to buy them everything they want and need and forfeit the cute new shoes for yourself. We welcomed Riley Grace into our lives this year, were able to be a part of my brother Clint's wedding and sister Autumn's wedding, vacation in Maui, and recover from a really freakish fall onto a wine glass. Those severed tendons and over 30 stitches taught me a big lesson about slowing down and learning to rely on others even if they don't do it the way you like. Changing a baby in a hip harness with one hand became easier and easier as did the hand therapy visits as the scar tissue began to break up and my fingers began to move again. 

Today we feasted with our new relatives (officially) and gobbled up way too much. Riley had seconds. Jackson hardly ate his -- I think maybe the appetizers became his dinner. I love cooking so I made everything from beginning to end...until dessert, which I am so thankful for a new sister who enjoys this part of the meal. 

How did you spend Thanksgiving? I hope it was wonderful and filled with loved ones and of course, a turkey.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Strike a Pose

Riley has been standing by herself for the last two weeks but all of a sudden she only wants to stand. When I put her down on the floor she refuses to sit...instead she stands and claps with her "proud of myself" face. I am really hoping her pediatrician's prediction about walking before Thanksgiving is wrong. Jackson is so excited to see Riley in this new stage.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Christmas Card Sneak Peek!

Our BPE (Best Photographer Ever) took these over the weekend at Felicita Park in Escondido--a new location for us all.

Jackson had more fun running in the wet leaves, mud, and grass after we had a couple days of rain (what's that?). He hardly sat still but what can you do with an almost 4 year old who has enough energy to send Starbucks out of business?

Thank you, Ashley Perry, for another fun and beautiful shoot! You are SO patient, loving, and amazing!

Visit her awesome talent at: www.ashleyperryphotography.com


P.S. My current parenting book--lots of quick tips you can implement immediately! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baby Girl is NINE Months!

I wish Riley crawled in slow-motion in real life!
Trying out the features on our new camera. 

Oh, hello! I'm 9 months old on Election Day 2012!

Riley celebrated her 9 month birthday as President Obama was reelected. We cast our vote after hiking a mile up the hill to a neighbor's garage. Riley fell asleep and Jackson sat quietly playing on my phone. Then we met the McKerchers for some aquarium time--it was just us and the fish! Woo hoo!

Birch Aquarium with the buddies!

Jackson is 3 years and 9 months old! =)

There goes the monthly sticker!

Abby is my BFF! I can pull her tail and she doesn't mind! 

found the sticker!
Here are the highlights from Riley's eighth month (insert tears here):
  • eating most of what we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • eating mainly finger foods 
  • eats the squeeze pouches unassisted and without a mess (if I try to help she gets really mad) 
  • nursing still at least six times a day until bedtime...which means every 2 1/2-3 hours
  • clapping a lot when she's happy or to the music
  • dancing (bounces up and down to the music)
  • crawling SUPER fast
  • crawling SUPER fast up the stairs! 
  • "cruising" along the furniture super fast
  • standing by herself for up to a minute
  • walking with her push toy
  • new sign: "all done"
  • naps twice a day (10 and 2)
  • still sleeping 11-12 hours a night
  • cutting two more bottom teeth...and maybe the top two as well. so swollen! :/
  • new words: "up," "mum-mum" (for real food) and "yay!"
  • favorite book: Where is Baby's Pumpkin? -- Karen Katz (Ri loves to lift the flaps and is excited by the ending every time)
  • favorite color: pink (duh!)
  • LOVES hair bows and DISLIKES hats
  • favorite toy: Cuddle Bear and Leapfrog activity table (thanks, McKerchers!)
  • dislikes diaper changes now and guess who else does? Mama! Riley squirms so much that I feel like I am hurting her to keep her still.
  • first wagon ride happened this month! fun, fun!
  • LOVES to cuddle and gives hugs/snuggles
  • LOVES music
  • LOVES watching and playing with Jackson no matter what kind of  mood he is in...
  • LOVES picking Jackson up from preschool and seeing the kids in his classroom
  • Clothing: wearing 12 months already! I pulled out Jackson's old Christmas jammies and she can wear them now -- they were big on him at almost 11 months old 
  • understanding our routines now: raises her hands when I put her in her high chair
  • can follow simple directions: "go get a book"


mama's pot roast, carrots, green beans
...all finger foods for my lunch!

Saturday morning cartoons with brother!

Raising money and strolling for breast cancer!

Think Pink!

Thanks for the hug Best Brother!
Halloween 2012
ready for treats!
Pretty Kitty and Pirate Jake of the Neverland Pirates

Mama thinks Jackson needs to start walking
...this double stroller is weighing over 100 pounds these days!
Riley's Favorite Person is still Jackson!
9 month check up
Length: 27.5"
Weight: 18.2 lbs.
Head: 18.5"

Riley and Jackson's pediatrician always seems happy to see them for well baby check ups and today was no exception. He said Riley's rolling was impressive. Tell me about it! She can't sit still for diaper changes, Doctor! He guessed she will be walking by Thanksgiving. Let's hope not! Riley cried when she was in the scale (I feel you, sister) but smiled and clapped for everyone by the end of the visit -- even after having a finger prick to test iron (good). So happy to see that she is growing at the right rate and ahead of the milestones despite her hip issues. 

Hips we check the week after Thanksgiving but she is wearing a "cruiser" still at night for 12 hours. She can really cruise all over in it. At the last visit her right hip was three degrees shy of perfection. =)

We sure do love our Riley Grace! She is the perfect addition to our family!