Thursday, September 24, 2009

Memories, Milestones and More

0 hugs and kisses

Last week we took our first ever family vacation since becoming a "family of three".  We ventured down to our ultimate favorite vacation spot - the Outerbanks in North Carolina.  We specifically stayed in Nags Head.  This was our fourth trip down there - the first being back in August 2004 when Kevin proposed to me on the beach at sunset.  The proposal was in the same spot that he sat on the beach as a child during annual vacations to OBX.  And Riley sat in that same spot last week, which, as you can imagine, brought along with it a flurry of emotions. 

We returned for our second trip in June of 2006.  This was our first trip to OBX as a married couple - another nice memory.  Our third trip was in August 2008.  I was 23 weeks pregnant with Riley.  This year Riley was 9 1/2 months old at the time of our visit.  I couldn't help but dig up a picture from last year's vacation.  It was taken of Kevin and I standing out on the Nags Head Pier.  We took another picture this year in the same spot.  What a difference a year makes ...

We vacationed with two friends of ours - Kelly and Frank - and their daughter, Addison, who is just 6 weeks younger than Riley.  It was a fun-filled week for everyone and jam packed with memories that will last a lifetime.  Riley even hit some milestones while we were down there; clapping, waving bye bye, and saying "dada".  What a perfect, perfect week.

Enjoy some pictures from our week full of firsts, laughter, happy tears and hugs. 

Riley and daddy on the beach.  One of my favorite pictures.

Shoulder rides for Addison and Riley at the Sand Dunes.

Watching the love of our lives.

I had the ultimate pleasure of showing Riley the ocean and the sand for the first time in her life.  Her squeals and belly laughs for the waves told me she loved it.

It wouldn't be vacation without a walk to get some yummy ice cream!

 Riley and I, playing in the water.

"Riley 2009". 

Exploring the sand.  She loved to dig and quickly learned - after a handful to the mouth - that it tastes yucky.

She loves her shoulder rides from Daddy.

Precious, precious, precious.

Getting lots of laughs and smiles on the beach.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Survived!

0 hugs and kisses
I survived my first night away from Riley!  I had a great time away with Kevin - and it was a very nice treat for both of us - but I was SO excited to get home this afternoon and grab my little miss right up!  And Kevin was just as excited.

We left yesterday morning around 6:30am.  Thank God, Riley woke up just about 5 minutes before we left.  I could have had something to do with those few extra cabinet doors I accidentally slammed.  But I was just so happy to get to see her and hug her and kiss her before leaving for Cedar Point and leaving her with my mom and dad.  I did great through the day - we were so busy at the park that the hours flew, although we were busy the whole time talking about Riley and winning her prizes at the game booth!  (Picture of Riley with HUGE monkey that daddy won her, coming soon ...). 

But last night was hard.  We had early entrance into the park, so that allowed us to get on things really fast and we were done with our day about 3:00pm.  We checked into our hotel around 3:30 and decided to take naps before dinner.  Kevin fell asleep - I didn't.  Instead, I laid on the bed, softly crying, just wishing the hours would fly by so I could be back with Riley.  I missed her SO badly.

Thankfully, the time moved at the perfect pace.  We enjoyed our evening, had a fun time this morning being lazy and enjoying breakfast, then got 9 holes of golf in on the way home.  But boy were we excited to run through the front door and see that beautiful smile from our Rye Pie!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I never want to leave!

0 hugs and kisses
All I keep thinking about this morning is how stinkin' adorable Riley is.  This does not make for a very productive work day.  I am so mad at myself for not taking a picture of her this morning.  I'll have to snap a quick one tonight.  She was in a new skirt and teeshirt and had a hoodie sweater on and Babylegs for the ride to Grandma and Grandpa's since there was quite a chill in the air - and she was SO happy this morning!  I think she is over the aches and pains of her cold, and now we're just constantly wiping that drippy nose.  She had a great night of sleep last night and woke up all smiles, ready to tackle the world, one toy at a time.

I've quickly realized (and honestly knew it all along) that it is NEVER easy to leave her.  On the days when she doesn't feel well, I don't want to leave her.  I just want to hold her and make the yuckies go away.  On the days when she couldn't be any happier, I don't want to leave her.  I just want to sit with her and play all day, taking in those smiles and laughs.  On the days when she is a moody mess, while rare, I don't want to leave her.  I just want to sing to her and play peek-a-boo until that bright smile returns between those pudgy cheeks.  I just never, ever want to leave her!

Yes - you can slap me now since I am basically complaining that I only have a 3-day work week each week ... but it is all relative, right?

And if I hate leaving her, how will I EVER survive this weekend?  My parents are arriving late Friday night and Kevin and I are leaving early Saturday morning for a weekend at Cedar Point.  Just a little getaway for the two of us for our 4-year anniversary (today, in fact!) before we head to the beach as a family of three the following week.  This will be my first time EVER away from Riley overnight.  And my first time ever away from her for more than a typical 8-hour workday.  I am praying that I am able to hold it together.  At least Kevin and I will have plenty to talk about during a 2-hour wait for a roller coaster.  The topic of conversation will absolutely be on our Rye Pie!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Toy Recommendations Needed!

0 hugs and kisses
As we prepare for our upcoming beach trip, we want to buy Riley a surprise toy for the beach house that will be "new" and therefore capture her interest for a while.  I would LOVE to hear what toys you'd recommend ... and of course, I do have some requirements that must be fulfilled with whatever toy this is!

  • Must light up
  • Must play music or sounds
  • Must be a toy in which she can stand at and cruise around - sitting is no longer in her daily plans!
So ... what do you recommend?  Please comment below!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Time for a Facelift

0 hugs and kisses
I am ready for this blog to undergo some cosmetic changes. Over the next couple of days you'll notice things starting to look a bit different - and hopefully better! I hope you like what you see - definitely let me know!

But what about "The Lasts"?

1 hugs and kisses
A girlfriend and I had lunch yesterday. Well, it was more like this: we went to a dining establishment (Cheesecake Factory ... yummo!), ordered wonderful lunches, then spent the time that they were warm feeding bottles and sliced up bananas to our wonderful, precious daughters.

And then when our food was still a little warm, we spent that time retrieving shoes and toys for one another as they flew under the table just out of arm's reach. Lettuce wraps don't box up that well ... but cheesecake does! And that's what matters!

So during this lunch/playdate, we had an interesting discussion - something I hadn't ever really thought about before, but have thought about since. As mothers, we have eagle eyes for all of these "firsts". First time rolling over. First solid night of sleep. First tooth. First laugh. The list goes on and on. But what about "The Lasts"?

It is actually a sad thought, so I apologize if I put a dark cloud over anyone today ... but what about the huge milestone of the LAST time something happens? You celebrate the first night your baby sleeps in her crib in her own room. But that also means that the night before was the last night that she slept alongside you in her bassinette or co-sleeper. You celebrate the first tooth that breaks through. But that means the last time that you saw that adorable gummy smile has come and gone.

Being the optimistic person that I am, I can 'turn my frown upside down' by reminding myself that with the 'last' of one thing comes a 'first' of something even better. Two weeks ago Riley started doing this adorable thing with her arms and her head when it got close to a nap or bedtime. She'd raise her arms above her head real tight, then squeeze her head through them. Picture a needle being threaded - that is what I thought of when I saw it. It was adorable! But now it's over. I haven't seen that for a week now, and I don't know if it will ever return. A 'last'. That makes me a little sad. But then again, she is now making a cute new noise when she laughs ... so a 'first'.

What do you think about "the lasts"?