Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas

Christmas was great. ...as much as I remember at least. It seems like it was ages ago.

Mimi and Papa got Riley's stocking, and it was a tad bigger than all the rest of ours...

Riley received a mobile play set from Mimi and Papa she uses every day, and it has been fun to see her first discover it.


One of my favorite gifts was a baby carrier that Riley loves (thank goodness!). 


Another epic gift was Ben's computer parts for the computer he put together himself.


The best part was being around family

Riley cuddling with her Uncle Nate

Creating the Lincoln Memorial: Lego style


Chris finally received straight razor instruction from Nate 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Roller

On Christmas Eve of all days, you could find the entire Wasden household staring at Riley in excited anticipation as she played with the idea of rolling to right.


She was so close...! But she couldn't quite make it all the way.

Eventually, after we had decided to go ahead with dinner, and most everyone was getting ready for bed, she surmised it was as good a time as ever.

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I see the possibility of her being quite the tease when she grows up, if this experience is any indicator of future personality traits.

After she had done it once, there was no stopping her! That night she did it 9 times in a row! Whenever she was on her back, it is like she couldn't help rolling immediately, despite being upset about being 'tricked' yet again into the tummy time position.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Travels

For weeks I have been thinking of every possible baby emergency that could happen on our way to the airport, on the plane, and on the way to Petaluma. I figured one of these scenarios would play out, and I grit my teeth, anticipating the inevitable while thanking our lucky stars that no matter how bad it was, it would be over in a couple hours rather than in a carseat halfway through Nevada.

I usually don't enjoy being proven wrong. This was a rare exception.


We timed it so that we got on the frontrunner and trax after only a few minutes of waiting. We were so early to the airport that any semblance of a long line was not daunting. As it was, there were practically NO LINES! In an airport during Christmas?! Inconceivable! Riley was asleep by the time we got to the airport and took a nap until we had to pick her up for security. Then she enjoyed walking up and down the terminals until she peacefully fell asleep right before boarding the plane. Then she STAYED ASLEEP the ENTIRE TIME until we were picked up and she was jostled into her seat. Then she ate some food and promptly fell asleep for the ride home.

I would have kissed those pudgy little cheeks like crazy when we sidled into the driveway. But I withheld, and after we hugged everyone (who stayed up until 2am to greet us!) we stumbled into our room and immediately fell asleep.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Laughter

Ignore the psychotic mom behind the scenes, and bask in her cute little laugh. It is so contagious!!

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Superman

Our last full day in Provo consisted of me working from 7:45am to 6pm, so Chris and Riley got a massive daddy daughter date.

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She still needs to learn how to use her arms for support so she doesn't have to Superman-it all the time :) 

Goodbye

R&J invited us over for dinner our last night. It has been a dream come true to be so close to Ray for so many years, and in many ways I feel like I haven't taken advantage of this blessing as much as I could have. R&J are such a cute little family! Having Riley and E so close together as babies has been so fun, and that is something I will really miss.





We exchanged gifts, and R&J completely blew us out of the water with their gift to us-little Lego Mini-mes! They are awesome!! Chris figurine even has a little lightsaber since he will be working at LucasFilm :) Well done!


We made sure to enjoy each other's company rather than dwell on the fact that we wouldn't see each other for awhile. I'm glad. If I would have thought about it much I am sure I would have lost it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Selfies

Riley loves looking at her reflection, so during church sometimes I pull out the camera so she can see herself.

She decided to join the modern world of selfies (accidental though they may be)




Thankful

I feel extremely thankful today. When I was thinking about the reasons why this feeling has been so strong these last few days, it was easy to see why
  • The R.s graciously allowed us to stay in their home the few days between getting kicked out of the apartment and going home for the holidays
  • Natey-Nate, because without him we would be still in our apartment, illegally.
  • Chris' bishopric calling, which allowed us to stay in our beloved ward an extra year
  • Trying to fit in goodbyes to all of our friends has been especially difficult, which has made me appreciate how many friends we truly have made while here in Utah. This included seeing the Ns, our past bishop and wife, as well as full on party at Sharon's. We have so many people we love here.
  • Seriously, Chris is going to be working at LucasFilm? How amazing is that?!
  • In-laws who are not only more kind and loving than I could have possibly asked for, but also willing to take us and little Riley in for half a year. There is no way we could have afforded our own place, and this is a wonderful alternative where we get to be close to family (I mean, can you get any closer than being in the next bedroom?)
  • It has been fun to take care of and come to know Riley. The role of parenthood is my favorite role so far, or it may tie with being a wife... just being a little family has been so much fun
  • Speaking of family, I couldn't have asked for a more kindred spirit to be married to. I love how similar we are, but different enough to be individuals. Plus watching him be a dad is a huge bonus.
  • Christmas is always something to be thankful for. Favorite holiday of the year!
It is a good thing this feeling has hit, because I have been completely neglecting Christmas in an attempt to get completely moved and organized. Now that moving has been checked off the list, I hope I will be able to focus on the holidays with friends and family! (and I should probably start thinking of gifts...)




Friday, December 18, 2015

Final Week

The final week has come! This week serves both as Chris' academic finals week, as well as our final week in our little quaint home. 

We have been moving our things into storage for a matter of weeks now, one person packing during Riley's naps throughout the day, and once both of us were home, one person would run the packed items to the storage while the other watched the baby. It was a pretty good system.

However, I'm not sure how you can get around the frantically-packing-and-cleaning bustle of the final few days. There are just too many things we used day to day that had to be saved until last. Riley was a good sport, and didn't complain about her napping leading to a dwindling toy supply. 


Here is what Chris has been working on relentlessly for his final computer science project-Monkey Island! It is supposed to be a throwback to games like Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64. He did such a good job!! He passed with flying colors.




We made a checklist of places we wanted to eat one last time before heading out of Utah. We went to Red Robin unexpectedly when they had a one-day-only deal for everyone who had a Christmas name (Chris). Another time we were just hungry while on campus, so Subway in the Cougareat won out. Chic-Fil-A was a must (I LOVE that sauce!!) Another one of those places was a Greek restaurant we stumbled on in the mall that has Schwarma. So good! Plus, both times we went there, Riley fell asleep soon after dinner, so it has good karma as well as good food.

Red Robin

Schwarma!

One problem with packing as you live somewhere is that there is a unspoken rule that you must pack something you will desperately need in the upcoming days. Chris decided that this item would be his calculator. He realized he did not have it after he had left to take his Computer Science final, and so after a quick phone conversation, we packed little Riley in the car and dashed over to the storage unit in hopes of finding the much needed calculator. 


 Victorious!!

...and he was only a couple minutes late for his final :P



This week also marked the week where I had a ton of extra hours at work. We figured we would just muscle through it, but towards the end we ended up asking for help, as Chris had to watch Riley AND pack all the remaining items (no small feat!). We thankfully are surrounded by some awesome people, and a member of the ward came by to watch Riley one afternoon, and there is no way we could have gotten out of there on time with Nate! At least not without becoming completely sleep deprived with stress ulcers.


My dad came through town the day we moved out, and we were SO GLAD we were able to see him and the Rexburg girls while they were in Provo (it was a close call!) They brought us Thai Del Taco burritos for dinner (don't ask). We were even able to see Jennifer and Kayla on their way back home as well. It is always good to be around family!


Thanks for the early Christmas presents, Meg!


So much has happened this week! But the saddest was saying goodbye to our Tiki Man soap. Goodbye, Tiki Man! You have washed our hands well.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Red-Handed

We have tried and tried to catch this phenomenon on film, to no avail. She always alludes us by plucking her thumb out of her mouth just as we hit the button. Tricky kid.

Finally, we have suitable evidence of her thumb-sucking nature! Voila! Caught red-handed.



As bad as it may be to break this habit, it sure is cool that she has yet another tool to self-soothe. Except when it backfires and she pokes herself in the eye.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cousins


Transition

We have been working on transitioning Riley from her swing to a PakNPlay to sleep. We began putting her in the swing when she was waking up around four times during the night, and I was ready to have her sleep a bit better. I do not regret that decision in the least-sometimes you just need sleep!-but nothing can compare to the comfort of the swing, so the difficulty in the transfer is expected. She was down to either sleeping through the night or only getting up once after Thanksgiving. Hopefully it doesn't take too long to get back to that routine...

Sunday, December 13, 2015

End of an Era

It wasn't bad at all. I didn't feel sad when we were released. The next few days weren't bad. I made it through the ward party, the rest of the week and through discussions with Chris. I even walked into the chapel with no qualms. The reality of it all simply hadn't hit yet.

And it wouldn't hit. Not until I had been officially released in sacrament, I stood to be recognized, then asked to bear my testimony.

And that is when it decided to hit.

...

Seriously?

After a very heartfelt, unintelligble and extremely wet testimony, I went to sit down and fight the rest of the meeting for some semblance of control. Which was achieved for only minutes at time, until it would be continuously dissolved, along with my non-waterproof make-up. It didn't help that the meeting was our Christmas program, full of the spirit and thoughts of Christ. It was a job well done, and despite my emotional hysterics I couldn't help but feel the spirit of Christmas through it all. Chris ended the meeting with his great, and ever articulate testimony, and then it was all over.

...except for the line of people waiting to play or hold Riley one last time.

Then it was over.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ward Party

The Ward Christmas party was a hit! We had over a hundred ward members show up, and this week many were in the midst of finals and moving out of their apartments, so that was a pretty good turn out! The food was amazing, and the talent show was inspiring.



This whole night was bittersweet for us. We were having fun, but we also realized this would be our last ward activity in this ward, since we had been officially released on Tuesday. Up to this point, we had small discussions about how it didn't seem real that we wouldn't be coming back to this ward, no more partying with the singles, Chris would no longer be a bishopric counselor, etc. But no one knew we were enjoying our last activity with them, and we were determined to enjoy ourselves rather than use up our last moments in a melancholy slump.

After the talent show, a quickly thrown together nativity was presented, and Riley was selected as baby Jesus because of her raw talent! ...and perhaps because she had very little competition for the part... Chris and I were able to ride on Riley's coattails and were selected for Mary and Joseph. Riley was pretty fussy behind the scenes, but once she came out from behind the curtains and saw all the lights and everything looking at her, she was content to look around in wonder as the nativity story unfolded. Her favorite part was receiving her monkey toy and pacifier as gifts from the wise men.

It was a fun night. A perfect way to end our much loved singlehood saga.


Singing

I have this little, simple song I have creatively dubbed 'Riley's song.' It began as a desperate soothing technique in the moment, which has evolved into a sort of lullaby I sing to her as she gets ready for sleep, or when she gets worked up and needs to relax. She hears it multiple times a day.

It was one of those moments that she had just woken up and was laid back and content that I started singing her song to her. To my surprise, when I would pause between verses, Riley would start babble-singing with the same intonation as the song. She did this multiple times and I think my heart melted five times over. It was so sweet!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Overestimation

It is a terrible thing when you overestimate your child's head size to be roughly the same size as a four-year old...



Sorry Riley. If it is any consolation, your large head is absolutely adorable.



Winter Walk







Chewbacca and China


Tonight Chris had his interview with Bejing scheduled and was ready to go. Half an hour before the interview was going to start, he received a call from Burbank during his Facetime call with Ben. Enthusiastically, Chris returned the call and it was the HR recruiter from LucasFilm informing Chris that they were extending him the internship! Halfway through the phone call, Chris kindly put it on speaker so I could share in the excitement of the moment, but I was so confused as to who was on the line that I didn't do a good job of celebrating in the moment... more like Chris kept shooting me ecstatic glances and I kept mouthing, 'Cool! ...who is this...?'
He filled me in as soon as he was off the phone and we shared a moment of triumphant party dancing before we hurriedly prepared for his interview with China. He has until Friday to accept the internship, and since we already had the China interview set up, we figured we would see what this job was all about before we gave the final word to LucasFilm that we would take the internship.

After a positive experience with the Bejing interview, we had to decide between the two.

...which was easy. LUCAS FILM!! In California. Near family. And Star Wars?! How cool is that?!

Bejing isn't completely ruled out. There is a possibility of remote pipeline work or possible previous work in the future. But for the next six months, we will be in CA.

It is very nice to have an idea where we will be in the next few weeks. The cardboard box alternative did not seem appealing.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Three Months Old

Our little girl is already three months old!!

She is a fun little girl. She is typically very smiley, unless she is tired or she is looking at a phone (recording her, taking pictures or Facetiming must be discreet or they are met with a stoic stare).


Yesterday Riley was eating and we were sitting on the exercise ball in front of the TV. Nothing was playing on the TV, but it was on. Riley would pause intermittently to stare at the screen to see if it would do anything. Sometimes this was coupled with purposeful glances at me, as if she was saying, "Mom, do you realize that the TV isn't working properly?" She is way too intelligent for her own good!

We are wondering if she is going to take after her Mimi and be social butterfly. At church she loves attention and to seeing people smiling at her. She seems to enjoy having conversations with people or with her stuffed animals, however one-sided they may be.

I was trying to motivate her to roll over to get her block, but she decides she would rather have a conversation instead:
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She also seems to gravitate towards faces. She loves looking at the fridge magnets, but she pays particular attention to the pictures of friends and her cousins. Out of her toys, she already has a preference for looking at faces, such as animals or dolls, rather than the rattles or the colorful gadgets.






Wet Willy!

She loves to be held as much as possible and finds it a personal insult to be put down to play with her toys (although she is getting better at playing on her own, it usually lasts up to 10 minutes, if we are lucky). She is content to be carried around as I walk around the house doing errands. She has started to laugh, but it seems to happen randomly or on accident rather than her finding anything consistently funny.

She is growing like crazy! We tried 6 month clothes on her the other day because the 3 month clothes were getting tight. And they fit her!



Her and her cousin are beginning to notice each other!

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