Monday, November 30, 2015

New Toys and New Developments

Momma M gave R this bumbo, and R has immediately taken to it. She much prefers to be put down if she is able to be sitting up rather than lying down. She doesn't play with the tray objects much, but if we hand her one of her blocks, she goes to town :)

R with her cute daddy
R used to have very little interest in toys, and even when she did notice them, she would talk to them rather than try to touch them or even attempt to reach out to grab/swat them. Then all of a sudden she has realized she can hold these blocks (!) and it has opened the intriguing idea of self-entertainment to her life. She doesn't grab yet-more like she sandwiches the desired object between her hands and immediately tries to eat it-but it is a huge leap from where she was!


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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Fun Continues...

The day after Thanksgiving, everyone congregated at our place before heading over to the racquetball courts.



While they played, Momma M and I watched the babies. They were very good, and it was a little taste of what mothers of multiples go through. Whew! It was great to have time to talk to Momma M one-on-one. It is a rarity to be able to get to talk to her so personally when there are so many things going on during their trips.

When everyone returned, we had Chinese and Mexican food (because who said chow mein and hard-shell tacos don't go together?) and played Scum/relaxed.

The Scummies

Momma M rocking a grandbaby (surprise surprise)

Comfortable...? Apparently he was, because he fell asleep a few times like this
In the evening we went to the movie theaters and saw three different movies: The Martian, Mocking Jay Part 2 and The Good Dinosaur. Like the animation freaks we truly are, we went to see The Good Dinosaur while Momma M and R&J watched R. I love that girl, but it is an amazing feeling to go on dates with C!! I always look forward to hearing his critique and insights afterward too. 


Saturday we took family pictures at the JCPenny studio. It seems like it has been so long since we have done that! It was a lot of fun though.





Afterward we commandeered the hotel lobby almost the entire day. Yep, we are one of those obnoxious families that stake out a public area. It was a good idea though-it had more space than our place and R&J's place combined.


While N, M and K went to the temple, we played games like Spaz Uno (I failed miserably) and saved the world yet again with Pandemic.




The BYU vs Utah State game was on so we watched BYU kick trash. (As in we won-they did not kick trash out in the field. Such a weird saying.) Mom and Dad provided lunch and dinner, and we stayed in that lobby until we had our fill of loitering. (10pm) Then we brought our tired little baby home.

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We couldn't just say goodbye on Saturday night, so we met up with the fam on Sunday morning as well. We were tasked with driving A,K and M up to SLC, so they could get back up to Idaho for the last few weeks of the semester. It is always sad to say goodbye, but it isn't so bad once you consider we will see them again in less than a month!! :) They have come up almost every month since July, and we are LOVING it! :) :)



At church Riley was held mostly by the grandpas of the ward-high counselors and bishopric counselors-and she fell asleep in almost all of their arms. There is something about a grandpa's touch ...and being completely worn out with all the partying. We were so tired-we need a vacation from our vacation!! But it has been so worth it!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving

Wednesday night the party started! The kids came down from Idaho and we had R&J over for dinner. They brought orange chicken from WinCo, and it was excellent! We played Phase 10 and passed around babies.

Conspiring Buddies

R's expert mom skills paying off with a fussy Riley
We were happy when we heard the family would be coming up from Arizona! But the realization that we would be responsible for the Thanksgiving dinner slowly sunk in, which was accompanied by the feeling of impending doom. I am no cook by any stretch of the imagination, and the thought of poisoning the family with salmonella wasn't comforting. By the time Thursday came around, I had coworkers and friends praying that my family would make it through this experience alive.

...and they did!

Only one person got sick, and it sounds like he had more of a cold.
That's the story and I am sticking to it!

In fact, the food was really, really good! Rachel made half of the dinner, and I made the other half. Admittedly, C and I used cans and pre-prepared crusts to make the cooking as simple as possible. Rather than the hurry and bustle expected from Thanksgiving preparations, we had a slow morning and afternoon, slowly getting everything ready so that the food was still warm when my family got into town. The morning was punctuated every once and awhile with updates of which cities the family was going through while M watched the extended edition of LOTR as Riley fell in and out of naps. Finally, the turkey came out of the oven, the family was half an hour away, and we were on our way to R&Js!


R&Js place isn't that big, but it is cute and they did a great job fitting in a table and having enough room besides to sit after dinner to talk. Against all my expectations, the food was WONDERFUL! I was amazed at how good everything ended up, and I will admit, it has fueled my culinary curiosity. I think I have a block against cooking because I don't like how it takes time and I don't want to expect too much out of my food-lower expectations creates more satisfaction, you know? But if this good of food was that easy... it might be worth trying out more...

Rs amazing rolls
We had some fun additions to our celebrations this year-cousin K and brother-in-law N. I kept forgetting that they usually didn't have Thanksgiving dinner with us, because they blended in so well! It was great having them.

It was particularly heart-warming to see the grandbabies with their grandparents once again. It is so fun that the grandparents on both sides are so excited to see their grandchildren and make such an effort to be a part of their lives. Momma M. is so good with babies, and so when she went out into the frigid air in an attempt to calm Riley, we knew it wasn't an act of unkindness. Rather an innocent lapse of thought on Utah vs Arizona weather. However strange the gesture, it worked! Riley's gasping for air in the freezing cold got her to stop crying! So, that is one method to stop a fussy baby! ;) It didn't take them long to come back inside. :)

That night I found myself enlivened by the constant laughter and cozied up to the wonderful feeling of familiarity. It is amazing how we had been apart for weeks and still once we all get together, it is like we never left. I kept gaining satisfaction by looking around and seeing all the conversations and smiles as everyone interacted. I love family and the holidays!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lip Sucker


What Riley has been up to these past few weeks...


This is her smolder

We've begun using the vacuum as a tool of distraction.


Riley upon her pink throne
 So...we know it is still November. And it isn't even close to Thanksgiving... but Riley really wanted to see the Christmas lights! So we put them up for her. Riley even wants us to play Christmas music all the time! Its not like Chris and I are super excited for Christmas or anything... But what are good, selfless parents to do?



Cute outfit all the way from New York!


Headband from Aunt M is really cute!



She is still extremely lady-like as she eats. Not sure where she learned that one from...?

Momma M gave Riley some toys, and she has been loving their noises and colors

Lately Riley has been really good about finding her fist or her lower lip to suck on to self-soothe. 


Lip-sucker video:

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First bath in an official baby bath! Ok, it is actually the second, but the first one was a crazy impulsive consequence to a blow out. This was more of a calm, soothing bath because she got her first shots. She was a trooper!


Sorry-I wasn't sure how to orient the movie properly. Don't get motion sickness!

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Coincidence

As we talked last night before falling asleep, Chris and I were sharing our enthusiasm for all the places Chris has applied to recently. It seems that whenever there is a job Chris gets excited for and feels qualified for, somehow a random inside contact will come out of the woodwork who is willing to put in a good word for Chris to HR. This keeps happening! Although none of them have come back with a job offer (still waiting to hear back from them) we realized what a blessing this has been, if not for a job now, a network for the future.


Pretty sure it is not a coincidence.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Mall Date

We had a date night at the mall. I am really looking forward to when R understands Christmas better and gets excited as she anticipates the holidays. As it is, I love introducing her to the little things she does understand now, such as pretty Christmas lights.

Huge Christmas tree in the mall
We went to a Greek restaurant and got Shwarma, which was amazing! R promptly fell asleep and we enjoyed walking and talking within the warmth of the mall.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Talking to Toys

Riley has begun being more conscious of toys. She still isn't good at using her hands to swat or grab them, but she instead enjoys engaging them in very one-sided conversations.

Beware as you watch these that you do not die of cuteness overload.

October 18th-Conversing with Dad:

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October 27th in her swing:
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Since she has started paying attention to toys, we made her a ghetto mobile so she can start interacting with them. 
...which may or may not be made with a bassinet stand...


She seems to like it anyway :)

It is scary when your rogue hands make toys come after you...



She has started to play with the cat attached to her pacifier


Enraptured in a conversation with Gumbo
November 9th-Conversing with Mom:

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November 9th-Refrigerator magnets:
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This was her reaction to her reflection the first time she noticed herself in the mirror:


...and this was the next day once she noticed I was taking pictures of her on my phone:

Nice try, Mom



November 18th-A girl and her butterfly:

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Singles Ward


There are many reasons that being in a singles ward rocks.

Yep, that is Chris' face on the board. Celebrity status.

This is just a couple of the reasons. Aren't they awesome?!




Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sick

We were so happy when Riley's fever broke on Wednesday that we thought that would be the end of her not feeling well.

Unfortunately, we were mistaken.



She hasn't been herself for the last two weeks. She'll seem like she is getting better, and then we will be hit with a day that she obviously doesn't feel well. When I came home from work last Saturday, she was crying hysterically and had one eye that could barely open because of how goopy it was. After much deliberation, we decided we would bring her to church the next day, but we wouldn't pass her around-we would just hold her.



On Sunday morning, Riley took an awesome nap. Typically she naps during sacrament, but this Sunday she was wide awake for sacrament meeting. Unexpectedly, she paid special attention to the people sitting next to us. She would sit and stare at them unashamedly. If that didn't get their attention soon enough for her, she would begin making little noises to make them look over at her. When they would look at her and smile, she would get the biggest, goofiest grin I have ever seen and wiggle with glee. She had never bid for attention before, let alone act so social! It was hilarious to watch. Needless to say, she made it quite difficult for me that day! People were asking to hold her left and right, and when I would mention that she was sick, they would look down at her and she would be grinning at them ear to ear. Thanks a lot, girl! :)

After Sunday, she steadily seemed to not feel well again, until Wednesday she was frequently crying in pain. I called the doctor to see what he would recommend, and they scheduled an appointment for me to come in. As I rocked her for hours on end that morning, I got through her heart-breaking cries by reminding myself that at 3pm the doctor would see her. I would then know why she was in pain and have medication, or at least have some idea how to give her greater comfort. It was my lifeline.


Three in the afternoon finally came, and I gratefully headed for the doctors. The doctors verdict, however, was unexpected. He said if I hadn't told him she wasn't feeling well, he would have never suspected she was sick. He assured me that it was nothing serious. And so I walked out of his office, relieved it wasn't anything serious, but I also unable to shake the feelings of dread and hopelessness. I still had no idea what I could do to help my little girl.


Thankfully, since Wednesday morning things have gotten better. She still isn't 100%, but she no longer cries in pain like she did before. I still look back on Wednesday in awe. I'm amazed at how deep my grief was for this little girl who is completely dependent on me and I felt powerless to help. It was a terrible feeling and I still feel my gut wrench when I think about it. I can't help but think how many times I will feel that feeling as a parent. Sometimes it won't be sickness; sometimes it will be poor choices she makes or I'll have to simply love her as she learns hard lessons in life. The price of the amazing love you feel for this little person is you are in for the lowest of lows, and you can't take it on for them. You can only watch and support from the sidelines.
This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2 Month Appointment

Riley is growing perfectly! She is still in the 90-something percentile in height, 80-something percentile in weight, and 70-something percentile in head circumference. She is our growing girl!

Riley being possessive of her Dad
One problem though-she had a temperature of 100.6 degrees. She had been acting a little more fussy lately, and had been a little weird about appetite, but we honestly hadn't even considered taking her temperature! It was a bit concerning when the doctor said if she was just 2 weeks younger, he would send us straight to the ER for a bunch of tests, including a spinal tap! Yikes!! As it was, he had us schedule an appointment early the next morning with instructions to watch her closely.

She has a tear in her eye :(
Thankfully, this morning her fever had broke! Hallelujah! She has still been acting like she doesn't feel well, but we were so glad that she didn't have the fever any longer.