Friday, December 18, 2015

Our Life: The Holiday Season

The Christmas Countdown is ON! The Riley family is so excited about this upcoming Christmas. Moose has grown so much since last year, and I cannot wait for him to enjoy opening presents. He truly understands that there is something inside the package this time around!!! 

Last year at this time our sweet little Moose was obsessed with "ights" as he called Christmas Lights, but the finicky little dude that he is doesn't seem that interested this year. Over the last several months, Moose has developed an incredible love for reading. He greatly enjoys when his Ga takes him to the library, though we can't say he is always a successful participant in story time. He is constantly asking daddy to, "read this book!" We seem to have a book of the week each week that he prefers over everything, and by the end everyone has all the words memorized... just ask Ga or Daddy what the Ninja Turtles do and by route they will respond, "Turtles skate into action." 

Moose Riley is quite a Ham... He LOVES bounce houses!!! (I'm thinking that's probably what his 3rd birthday is going to require.) He goes and goes and goes and goes in a bounce house every chance he gets - then of course he crashes out like nobodies business. See the picture of him sleeping through FIREWORKS that were 20 feet away from us. No joke. 

 All of these pictures were from the Hometown Holidays tree lighting in Mansfield. 

Bo Riley, on the other hand, is a WHOLE OTHER PERSON. Well clearly, he is literally a different person than his brother, but it's like when you have a kid you decide oh okay this is how kids are. And despite the fact that you've learned so much and are so much less judgmental of parents than you were when you were kidless, you still judge parents because you have such a good kid at _______ (fill in the blank as appropriate) and you think all parents should do what you do for that because your kid is such a rockstar.... BUT THEN, you have another kid, and you have to eat allllll that crow because whomp, whomp - it's got much less to do with you than you realized. Same parents, same general rules, and this other kid is a totally different animal. 

Bo loves to walk around and socialize. He is my wild man. I am not sure that he knows danger, and while he does know what "no" means - he basically doesn't care. He has this little maniac laugh that he does when you get onto him. Sometimes it's enough to really wear you out, but sometimes I have to cover my face so I don't laugh. 

He has decided he is big, and he won't sit in his high chair. We have reached the back-arching phase when it comes to getting in the carseat. He doesn't seem to get cold, and he loves to eat. He eats and eats and eats. 

These kids are turning out to be so much fun! Moose likes to take selfies, while Bo tries to eat my phone more often than not. 

Moose has fallen in love with two new things this fall: Paw Patrol & Ninja Turtles (he calls them "minja tortles" - I LOVE IT!). 

While Bo mostly loves playing ball and being outside... but heck they both love to be outside. (I think Santa might have gotten the memo on that too!!!) Did I mention we are so excited for Christmas?!?! We are beyond blessed to have so much and so many people that love us. Next week will be Christmas week :) We will be running our munchkins to and fro for several Christmases, and we hope that you and yours have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bo: 13 Months - Hello November

Is it odd that time is a constant, but it always seems to move at a different speed? This last month (or really several months) have felt like hyper-drive. Bo is already 13 months old (okay nearly 14 months) and has officially been my second toddler for well over a month, now. I feel like he was just my little newborn baby.

Bo has quite the personality. He has startled to growl when he carries his toy dinosaurs around. He also has a flare of a little temper, and when he doesn't get his way, he resorts to BITING. I call him my little monster: growling, biting, getting into all sorts of things. I probably call him this too much since the other morning Bo bit Moose, Moose ran to Sam and said, "that monster boy bited me." Whoops. Go Mom! From the mouths of babes, right? 

Bo keeps growing, but he still only has his six teeth. I find myself wondering when the others will appear, and if he will be a terror of a toddler when they do. He is still rear facing in the car, though cramped at times everything says to keep them facing back... And it makes you feel like the absolute worst if you turn them before two. My poor parents were hauled around without seat belts on bench seating in the 60s - I get it, I get it. Be safe because we know better now, but sometimes I just laugh at how incredibly different the world continues to become. Infant seats. Convertible seats. Regular car seats. Booster seats. It's kind of insane how many different steps there are these days, but we do them all because we love our kids and want the best for them. Ahhhhh

Little Bo has graduated to size 5 diapers and can wear an amazing array of sizes dependent on the brand. 24 months - 3T is what fits. Pants smaller and tops bigger. He is still taking a night time and nap time bottle full of whole milk. He loves to eat anything Moose has and more. He loves fruit, but he randomly chooses which item he is going to throw on the floor each day. You never know if he's in an apple mood or a grape mood.

Trick or Treating with the boys was so awesome this year!!! Moose was totally into it, and little brother, Bo, of course wants to be just like bubba. At the very last house, he took him pumpkin and ran to the door to collect candy just like Moose. I cannot even imagine the chaos these two will be next year! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bo: The Big ONE

Hooray! Hooray Bo is one year old. We celebrated with family and friends at our house. This is the first celebration we have hosted since moving into this new place last spring. I thought, "smaller house... Might not work as well as parties in the past have." I was SO wrong. I felt about a thousand times more comfortable today than I did at Moose's first birthday party. Now granted, I've lived, learned, and put a few tricks in my pocket in the last 18 months. I'm no longer a rookie mom. I am officially experienced. Weird stuff - not like I'm an expert, but still I feel a bit more confident these days.
Bo's first year:
He has grown so much since he was first born. At one, he is approximately 20 pounds and 30 inches. He started walking at 11 months, and he is babbling like a fool. He will say, "mamamamaam," but he's not very consistent. 
He loves to rough house and wrestle, and it's his favorite to tackle his big brother. I am so happy with his positive spirit. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for this handsome little dude! 
He is in size 2T tops and 18 month bottoms, 3T pjs (if they are carters... a 2T in most other brands). He is in a size 4 diaper and wears Huggies. He eats anything and everything just about (though ask his Ga, and she will tell you he demands watermelon with fervor.) He is transitioning to whole milk, but he officially made it an entire year on breastmilk (go team!). And this momma needs to start attempting to wean the kid from the bottle - one thing at a time.  

I didn't spend months on Pinterest pre-party. I didn't stress over making food myself. I didn't worry about having a perfect house. (Okay, truth I did get on Pinterest, but not obsessively and not for months and hours on end.) And guess what? We had a perfectly wonderful one year old birthday party today. 

We did the party in the morning - optimal pre-nap happy baby time, and we had donuts, fruit, pigs-in-blankets, juice, milk, and cake. I had simple decor. (Thanks Em for the teepee borrow.) One of the things I had the most fun with was the toy bow and arrows I bought online on a whim. We played with those for a while after everyone left. 

I was so pleased with how Bo and Moose both behaved. I think having it in the morning helped with that a ton. Bo took his time with his cake, but he eventually destroyed it. He has such a vivacious attitude about most things; I thought he would demolish it. Instead, he showed a bit more reserve and relished the sweets. Maybe that is a good sign for my sweet baby tornado. 

Bo got so many toys and a lot of balls. I found myself wondering if the gift givers were disappointed that he got so many balls. He loves each and every one so much. As soon as he woke from his afternoon nap, he threw all of them into the hall and chased and threw and chased and threw them over and over. He was so delighted to have so many. I swear it. He, for real, really loves balls. < -- Does that sound terrible. Poor kid is going to read this at 12, and say, "Mom! How could you have posted that?" Oh well kiddo.

Bo is a live-wire of a boy. He is determined (not stubborn) and doesn't take no for an answer. ;) I pray that one day these qualities help him in his chosen path. He loves to climb and investigate. He is my curious little dude. He loves to play in the dog water and eat whatever happens to be on the floor. 

So big. Too big. Love you kid. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our Life: Knees & Shows

Today, Sam underwent surgery for his torn meniscus. It was actually a pretty fun day. Yep, you read that right. Since the arrival of our two delightful, bundles of joy, Sam and I have had few days of just us. After Moose, there were some, and there have been a just a handful of evenings in the last year sans kids... I cannot think of a whole actual day spent together without our kiddos, since Bo was born. Today was that.

Days like today are reminders of why I am still so in love with the father of my children (a man who can drive me up a wall at times). Days like today are necessary. 

We arrived at the surgery center in Dallas at 7AM. Count the one hour in the car. We waited in the waiting room for about 40 minutes. Then, they let me come back to sit with Sam before the procedure around 8. We waited for the doctors until around 10. Then, Sam was done, and I was allowed back around 12. Another hour on the way home - and count it up = at least 5 hours of one on one time with the spouse. Woah!!!

And seriously in this situation there's nothing to do but talk and joke and smile and laugh and flirt with each other. Praise the Lord for that, which brings me to a whole other thought-bunny for this post. The Bible is an incredible conversation started. People are unafraid to approach a person wielding Bible. 

Sam and I read several passages from the Bible today and were just talking some of them over. One nurse comes across and asks can you find a scripture for me? So that's totally moving: Isaiah 45:2 is what he asked about. He said, "the one about a crooked path." Found and shared. 

Next up, the doctor before Sam's surgery asks can I pray with you before we go back. The knee surgeon, Dr. Rey, prays this beautiful prayer in his wonderful accent, and I truly feel at ease about the whole thing.

In recovery, our completely different nurse asks, "what were you guys reading in the bible earlier?" 

I love the power of God. I love that just the presence of his word is enough to inspire connection. I am thankful that God is doing work in my life to create in me a boldness for him. What's funny is that after you really have stepped out into these places that other people see as brazen, you realize: it's not so huge. I mean I brought a book with me... Okay it's 100% different than that, but still, I didn't do anything that was daring. I read the Bible with my husband, and yet, in our world that truly is a bold move, now. 

Okay, but back to Sam - they say his knee ought to feel much better by the end of the week. He is doing much much better than I expected. He's kind of ridiculous about pain, though. I don't know, if he feels it like normal people. 

He was back in surgery and recovery without me for about 2.5 hours... Do you know what that means? I got to watch TV! Woah! Another one of those things that almost never happens, and yet there I was, back to back watching two Scandals in a row. What, what? I'm caught up on my Thursday night shows, now. (I'm like a real person or something?)

I am grateful that I don't make the plans in this world because God's timing is always infinitely better than mine ever would be. Today was just what I needed. It was what Sam needed in more than one way. 

He's always terrified that he's going to wake from underneath anesthesia like some ogre and say horrible things... Instead he kept saying, "I love you," " I'm glad you're here," "I like your butt," "which knee? The right knee? The left knee? Or the wee-knee?"... And he told me, "they put that tube down my throat." All these things on repeat over and over. 

When we got in the car, he told me that last one again, and I just giggled. He asked why. Priceless telling a man he's already said that to you 7 times, and he has zero recollection. Even when he could be, he's not an ogre. He's a good husband. Man, even when there's a ton of junk around you, it's awesome, if you can just find your way to the blessings. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Our Life: Loss & Love

There are things in life that make us all introspective. Death seems to be one of them. This week my grandmother passed away. My stepdad's momma. She will be so missed. 

My relationship with my Nanny started later on in my life, so I don't have baby memories of her. It seemed this week that it wouldn't upend me; that this loss wouldn't undo me. Yet, my own personal grief has been a slow movement: creeping through me in small bursts of memories I didn't know were there, in tear-stricken moments of looking at the photos, and feeling her loss from those I love. Remembering how Moose before he could really talk would call her his "ninny." Remembering odd things - like how she had to take me to buy underwear once in junior high. Remembering how she loved me equally, instantly. She never once in my almost two decades of getting to be her kin treated me any different than her own flesh and blood grandkids. I was one of them - never a doubt in my mind. I didn't know how big that was. I didn't see the incredible commentary that was on the woman she was.

And so here I am: three AM, rocking the baby back to sleep because I was already awake, sleepless thinking of how hard it must be for her children in these moments, praying for all those feeling a void. Because how hard it must be to lose a parent, which takes me down so many other thought paths, and then, my tears are for all the other people in my life who have lost a parent. I must find my way back to solid ground where the introspection isn't stealing my whole brain, where memories and grief are helpful and healing, where praying for all my loved ones makes a difference, where I thank god for putting a grandmother such as her into my life.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Our Life: Pizza & Parenting

As a high school teacher, I routinely see youth in pursuit of "adult-ness." Kids do all kinds of things that they think will make them grownup. Some of these kids are more mature than others, but I think the ones who simply relish their status are few and far between. 

I can recall my own days of adolescence in much the same state. I was always seeking "next." In high school, I was ready for college. In college, I was ready for a job. In a relationship, I was ready for marriage. In marriage, I was ready for baby. And then - over two years ago now, that had all happened for me, and it gave me great pause. Where was the "next?" What was the "next" supposed to be? I had checked all the boxes off my giant to do list. 

I had some very real growing pains after Moose was born, grappling with this  unknown territory. I didn't know what I should be working towards next, and of course I had no idea just what it was I was doing being a mom. When the Lord blessed us with a second pregnancy, things began to change for me. I realized that it could (and very well may be) my last pregnancy. The glowing, radiating, pinnacle of my teenage-dreamed up success hierarchy would be done. With Moose that felt overwhelming- depressing even, but the second time? It felt triumphant. I felt powerful. I had this realization that if this was going to be the last chance I had to be this person I had always dreamed about, then I would embrace it and ROCK IT! And that is exactly what I did with my pregnancy with Bo. I owned it. I loved it, and as a result I felt so much more confident when he arrived in the world.

Somewhere in those nine months o found my "next." Mom. Three simple letters, but my teenage visions of the future went only as far as the big belly and fun cravings. I never really imagined the rest - you know the ACTUAL LIFE PART, and do you know what's so dadgum funny about it... It's the BEST PART OF MY WHOLE LIFE.

I feel spoiled sometimes that I get to be a wife and a mom. We have a happy, healthy home, and I am beyond grateful. It's so much more than I could have ever put on that checklist of my life. There's rarely any high action drama. I am one of those people that I thought was Lame with a capital L, but I find myself wishing I could tell every black fingernail polish wearing girl that there's so much MORE. Just more.

I wish I could convey how incredible it is to watch your nearly one year old climb into his brother's chair at the table and steal the rest of his pizza. Then watch him toddle around trying to be just like big brother. The love, seriously, the incredible fullness of your heart for your husband and your kids and your own mom for going through it all with you. Seriously, it's a feeling that is more powerful than any of my nights of tear-filled angst.

Tomorrow, when I try to explain it to the teenagers, I am nearly certain it won't be heard the way I intend and half of them will think I'm crazy. But if I can get it through to one kid - high school is NOT. YOUR. LIFE. There's infinitely more out there for you. Just take your time and follow Gods plan for your life (and even if you make a few missteps along the way) you will see there's just more. Life is so worth it. Sometimes it just takes a few more years than you realize to get there.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bo & Moose: 11 Months & 2.5 Years... We need a Time Turner

Bo How Big?: Do other moms walk around with a mental scale? Do you just know how big your kid is all the time? Or do you just weigh them more than at the doctors office. Poor baby Bo, I haven't weighed him in forever. Here's the deal - he's growing. Haha, poor second kid!
Bo Clothing xSize?: Jammie's are always so small... He's wearing 2T pjs. I think I am getting him 18-2T size pants. He also is headed to 2T shirts. He's still rocking a size 4 regular diaper, and we went to size 5 night diapers. Whew!!
Bo What/When is he eating?: I love my little monster man... Kid loves to eat!!!! His favorite food is still watermelon. He shovels it in his mouth until his cheeks are chipmunking, and the juice is running down his shirt. He is still on breastmilk - what what!?! Looks like he should make it to a year! I cannot believe after all the struggle I had with Moose that Bo is going to skip formula all together. 
Bo Sleep?: Bo wakes up around 3 several nights a week, but he also sleeps through the night several nights. It's a guessing game about whether he will wake up. The other night he started shrieking at midnight. No clue why - I think he's hungry and growing. 
Bo Milestones?: Bo has had a ton of milestones. My little Snicklefritz... He took TWO STEPS IN A ROW! Woohooo!! He was caught standing on his high chair tray twice - uh oh. Bo attended his first football game. He's got more and more teeth. This kid is getting so big so fast! 
Bo Movement?: See above because we almost have a walker!!!! 

Moose: 2 1/2 years 

Moose How Big?: Moose is sprouting again... He's well over 30 pounds and growing out of his old smaller pants again!!! 
Moose Clothing Size?: All size 6 diapers (still haven't potty trained him) and 3T-4T clothes... with 5T or 6 Pjs.
Moose What/When is he eating?: Moose is such a funny kid about food. He just isn't really into eating a whole lot. He is back on his blueberry kick - thank goodness, but it seems like he would totally forgo eating, if we were to let him have ketchup and milk. (Of course, we would never do that, but still!) He will eat chicken with "special ketchup" aka BBQ sauce, lol.
Moose Sleep?: Moose sleeps through the night and hasn't napped in about a million years. He crashes out at about 5PM once a week, if we are in the car, but he always seems so tired! I wish he would do a little more quiet time, so he could get some calm moments... but no go! 
Moose Milestones?:  Chatty little Cathy... Moose loves to talk and talk and talk. He says the darndest stuff, too. He will say, "No mommy don't sit there." Then he promptly commands me to sit on the floor. How polite sir. He has created a new game of "Under," where he likes to hide under the covers - you must accompany him under - and then pop out and ROAR! 
Moose Movement?:   Moose has faith and flying squirrel like movement! Kid will jump 

Family: August 2015
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month:  Going back to work this month was hard. After a crazy, busy, wonderful summer of fun with the kids and our friends and family, it was so heel-dragging to get back into the swing of things. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: Family moments are awesome!!! I love getting to lounge around on a Saturday in our pjs all day. There's almost nothing better. Hearing the boys laughter while they play with each other is the coolest thing. They have started to wrestle each other. It's so a part of their DNA to be such rough and tough boys. 
Looking Forward to:  I am looking forward to this next season. I have loved the summer and the heat this year, but as the air starts to cool off, I know I am so excited for Bo's first birthday and Halloweend and Thanksgiving and aLLL the super fun things on the agenda! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bo: Ten Months, Cannot be contained

How Big?: Bo has definitely been growing this month. I can't do a mommy-unofficial weigh in because our house is in the middle of a remodel, so there's no telling where the scale is. Sorry Bo! 
Clothing Size?: He is moving on into a lot of the 2T clothes we have around here - Mostly shirts because 18 month pants are still big on him. He is a little more true to size than I remember Moose being. Although, I have learned pajama sizes mean NOTHING. Pjs, I think, are sized smaller than clothes just so you will buy them (because who tries on pajamas) and be done with them sooner. We are already rocking the crabby 3T jammers. He is in a diaper size 4, and I don't see us moving up without a huge growth spurt soon. 
What/When is he eating?: Bo is always eating it seems. He still cannot get enough watermelon, but I'm pretty sure he would eat just about anything you put in front of him (food or not). He really likes to have whatever we are having because he wants to be like everyone else. I realized I was trying to make things easy and just giving him a lot of foods he could pick up, but he was waking up hungry two and three times a night. I have since started giving him baby food and oatmeal in addition to everything I was giving him before. He is much more content after a meal! Kid loves to eat. I can proudly say we are still rocking with momma's milk! WOOHOO, though we are now using 100% frozen milk. (I think we will have enough to make it to 11 months, and we will see if there's any left after that. 
Sleep?Bo still wakes up about once a night, now. He will sleep through two or three, then wake up two or three. There doesn't seem to be any routine to it that I can figure out. He has already decided to drop to one nap a day, unless we can trick him into sleeping an extra little bit in the car. 
Movement?:Dude loves loves loves to go! He can stand up on his own. It's still hit or miss, but he can do it! He has even managed one step, but we aren't counting it as walking, yet! He is a seriously crazy man. He climbs up anything and everything. 
Milestones?: He can make the "uh-oh" sounds, and he will babble mamamamama sometimes when I come into the room. He is definitely starting to make those connections. Swimming in our pool! Bo's first zoo trip (with daddy and Moose) and first aquarium trip (also with fun daddy and Moose). He has FOUR teeth... and is teething like a true crank-stick deluxe. Bo had his first bleeding head wound, whomp whomp. (It really looked much worse than it actually ever was.) Bo and Moose had their first ever wrestling match. 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: Construction ZONE... The house has been in a state of repair of the whole month. We had the mold fixed and put in a window. We are updating our master bathroom, retiled the entry way, painted the hall, dining room, and living room, and are having carpet installed in the whole house! There's still a lot to do, but it is so hard to live like this. The kids hate it because they are restricted. I hate it because the house is never clean. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: It's been an incredible summer. We have had so much fun: swimming, going to Burger's Lake, playing at the park, running in the stroller, family walks, eating popsicles, dancing and singing at the top of our lungs, and so many other fun family things. I don't know how we are going to go back to work without these little sweeties everyday. 
Looking Forward to:  I am looking forward to having the house at a point of pause! It's never finished, but at least finishing the projects we have started will be awesome.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bo: 9 Months Already

How Big?: Bo is 28.5 inches tall and 18 pounds 14 ounces. He isn't quite the size Moose was, but he is certainly holding his own. He is a stockier kid than Moose was and more filled out. 
Clothing Size?: He is wearing 12-18 month clothes, though he can wear some of the 2T shorts that Moose had last summer. He is in a diaper size 4, and we are totally done using cloth diapers :( It was sad to let it go, but with all the solid food, the move, not installing our diaper sprayer - it just wasn't working. 
What/When is he eating?: Bo loves to eat! His favorite food is watermelon. He also likes oatmeal as long as you put a fruit puree of some kind into it. He eats all the time. If he is cranky, you better check if he is hungry. He is also totally weaned now. That was unbelievably hard to be done with, but I am finished pumping and feeling like I might be a real person these days. He is still drinking frozen milk, and I am hopeful that the milk will stretch his 9 months of only momma's milk to more like 10 or even 11 months. (But he drinks a ton, so that is yet to be determined.) 
Sleep?Bo is still routinely waking once or twice a night with the occasional sleep through the night. It's a work in progress, but Sam takes him at night every couple nights and that is seriously EPIC for this tired momma. 
Movement?: He now hates to be contained, so the bouncer and the pack 'n play are out. He likes to crawl on his feet everywhere... including out the doggie door! He is a mess and climbs anything and everything. I am not sure when he will walk, but he doesn't seem to be in a rush about it. 
Milestones?: Talking - "lalabababadada" No real words yet, but he and Moose have conversations. :) He can shake his booty! This month he went to his SECOND parade and celebrated his first Fourth of July. He got to go swimming for the first time ever and loved it. He ate cheetos for the the first time (classy right?) and pushed down his first friend in pursuit of her goldfish (sorry Shiloh). 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: There is always something going on here in Riley-land. Bo is struggling with teeth which makes him a bear, and just when we were ready to be in coast mode... we found Epic Mold in our house. UGGGGG The Contractor is supposed to call us back today to set up how to fix that soon. It's just so not fun to deal with that kind of junk. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: FUN! We have had so so so much fun. We have been playing with lots of friends, going lots of places, and doing lots of things. It has been so worth it! We are loving love loving summer!
Looking Forward to:  SWIMMING IN OUR POOL.... HOPEFULLY NEXT WEEK! Yeahhhhhhh

Pictures :)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Our Life: Welcome Home Riley Family

We are beyond excited to officially be in our new house!!!!! We closed, and it's really ours. We have spent two days cleaning out weed infested flower beds, and I couldn't be more proud. I want everyone in our neighborhood to know we are here to stay and that we value our home. Our to do list is an epic mile long... But I am most excited about the pool!!!

The previous people to live here were renters, and it doesn't appear that they cared for the home as we wish they would have. Our pool liner is trashed, but we were beyond blessed that the seller split the cost with us. It is a custom order, so it will take some time to come in but by July the Riley Crew should be splish-splashing on the daily. 

It's been a long process, but it couldn't have worked any better for us. We sold our old house to a great family and were able to move into our new house before we closed. 

God always has a plan that is better than any plan we could imagine.

I would have never dreamed we could be somewhere before closing. I would have never dreamed that we would get to be less than a mile and a half from my mom. I would have never dreamed that the master in between the kids rooms would be perfect. 

The boys and the dogs are already settling in quite nicely.

We thank you for all the prayers and well wishes in what was one of the biggest jumps of our whole lives. God is good. Can't wait to continue making this house our home for many years to come.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bo: 8 Months of Baby-Awesomeness

8 Month picture with a 25 month guest star - Big Brother Moose! 

How Big?: We get to officially weigh in a month, and since the move, momma doesn't have the scale out.... So around 17-18 pounds and 28 inches tall kid! 
Clothing Size?: I seriously need to find this boys summer jammies! He needs 18 month pjs and not to be still wearing fleece! He is wearing pretty much everything 18 month at this point. 
What/When is he eating?: Yes says Bo! FEED ME! He will eat almost ANYTHING. We are feeding him the squeezie packets of baby food, PUFFS like crazy, Yogurt Melts, a TON of guacamole, and anything else he can get a hold of. Baby boy loves to eat. He is still nursing, too! That's right - we have made it further than any Riley baby has ever been before. Taking the record and smashing it on the daily now :) Wooooo. 
Sleep?Bo is having a little sleep regression with the move, sickness, and teething. I am a tired mommy. 
Movement?: He is into everything. This dude is crazy. He climbs. He crawls. He cruises. He chases dogs and his brother. He jumps in a bouncer. Kid wants to go go go. 
Milestones?: New house is kind of the BIG deal for us. Bo also had his first ice cream and cake. (I guess we won't be waiting for his birthday on that.) He is babbling and standing up in his crib. He is getting to be such a big boy.  
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: Moving is hard. Moving with kids is harder. I cried several times leaving the house that Bo came home from the hospital to. I know that there are great things in store for us as a family, but man oh man. Also, with moving with a crawler... there are boxes everywhere and stuff for him to get in everywhere! 
Best Moment(s) of the MonthI think getting into our new house has been amazing. We are supposed to close tomorrow, but watching our kids play together has made the entire process worth it. You can hear the slap of Bo's little crawling hands, and he can get anywhere he wants. I love how connected it makes us feel!
Looking Forward toSummer.. Summer... Summer...Summer....Summer...SUMMMMMMMER

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Postpartum: Tales from the PUMP - Part One: "Things my Pump says"

New Series: Tales From the PUMP
There have been about a million-zillion times kadrillion things going on in our life! I cannot keep up with just about anything, so of course what hair-brained idea do I have? Start a blog series.. totally makes sense right? No, but for real, writing is my outlet; my how do we say, "only thing in all the world that keeps me sane at the very end of my breaking point?" You know, no pressure, or anything like that. 

Lately, I think my struggle is that I feel so alone. (Not alone like no one likes me, everybody hates me, I guess I'll go eat worms.) It's just that I feel like I go through my whole day surrounded by people who don't get ME and my struggles. The Mom-Life is a game changer. My day-to-day goals are different than a lot of folks, so here in the blog-o-sphere I know I have a whole group of Pumping Mommas already rooting for me. (I know because you pin my post about pumping and storing milk all the time - Thanks friends!) 

All that word vomit was simple to introduce my new series: TALES FROM THE PUMP 

Part One: Things My Pump Says

If you are a breastfeeding mom who has never pumped, we all applaud you for your hard work. Heck, even if you are a mom who formula feeds, we still applaud you - this mommy stuff is hard! But reality is you just aren't going to understand this post. You won't find it funny. You won't find it relevant. And you sure aren't going to hear the phantom whooshing in your head as I describe it. 

However, chances are you are reading this because you ARE in fact a pumping momma. Whether that be an EP'er like I was with kid #1 or a pump/nursing mom like I am doing now with kid #2. 

My pump, let's just call him "Pump" (because the creativity in my naming skills is clearly boundless... See my stuffed animal collection full of "Blue Dog," "Clown Bunny," and "Peppermint Cat" for clear proof of this skill), well, Pump, he talks to me. When I am exhausted Pump tells me CRAZY things! #mypumptalks

The other night I'm on the phone with my best friend chatting away - she cuts me off mid-sentence, totally unlike her, and exclaims loudly, "are you pumping?" She's not the type to be easily offended, so I was sort of taken aback at her shout. I replied that I was, and I could hear the edge of what sounded like PTSD in her voice. "I knew I could hear it! I thought I was having flashbacks." Flashbacks she said because it is a part life-saver, part torture device. We laughed and went right back to talking, but that's how it is. You will forever be able to hear that faint whoosh-whoosh in the back of your head. 

I am about 7.5 months postpartum. Just about getting my groove back. Baby is mostly sleeping through the night. Things are getting back to normal, but Pump and I we still hang out every morning before work, every day at lunch, and every night before bed. (This is such a cut back from the days of pumping 8 times a day when I was initially EP'ing for monster Moose.) 

I can hear ALL kinds of crazy things from dear old Pump: #thissucksthissucksthissucks - Okay, I am the worst PUN-master you'll ever meet. I crack myself up (This is a helpful skill as a high school English teacher because talk about tough crowd), but this one is one of my favorite things old Pump has ever said. The irony was so everywhere! Get it because it sucks to pump and literally the pump is sucking... Another variation on this theme is when he says "I suck, I suck..," but we won't even touch that with a 10 foot pole.

#hellohellohello - I think Pump likes to greet meet with a good morning, but that is too advanced for his vocabulary so instead it's just hello on repeat until I hear the next crazy thing. 

And I swear lately, Pump is quoting Shakespeare at me... Okay this is likely because I am exhausted and teaching Julius Caesar in class. #ettuettuettu (Et Tu, Brute?) Seriously, why can't we just stab Caesar???

Or how about #redrumredrumredrum Pump, why you be so creepy like? [sic]. Yeah, I don't know why it tells me this, but this one is a frequent re-occurrer! 

Moral of the story here: Pumping Mommas, you aren't alone. I'm not alone (or so I hope)! Remember to feed the baby not the freezer... More next time in Part Two: Places I've Pumped. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bo: 7 Months Crawl Dude Crawl

How Big?: He is around 17 pounds and just over 27 inches. He will get another official weigh in at his 9 month appointment. 
Clothing Size?: He is wearing 18 month T-shirts. 12 month jammies are getting really tight on his toes. We are also falling prey to the ease of disposable diapers... Oh no! We have been doing so great with cloth, but disposables are so much easier on the go. They are smaller and able to be thrown away. We have been on the go A LOT lately. (Selling our house has made our life a little crazy!) Size 4 diapers it is for a bit! Hopefully this summer, while we are living with my mom we can keep up better with the cloth diapering.
What/When is he eating?: If you don't feed Bo, he is going to freak, freak, freak out! He loves baby food. There's really nothing he doesn't like so far. We have done all of stage one, and we are working through stage 2. I tried a dissolvable fruit dallop thing for him, but he isn't quite ready for that. 
Sleep?: Bo is doing a great job sleeping! He is sleeping through the night most nights. This momma is finally less a zombie and more a person. He goes down around 8 and wakes around 5:30. 
Movement?: CRAWLING! It's official. Bo can crawl and sit up! He is also starting to pull up on things. I cannot believe that he is already doing that. He wants to go, go, go. He hates that he can't keep up with his brother. 
Milestones?: See above ^^^ And his First Camping trip with Grandma and Grandpa, while Momma and Daddy worked Prom! He is also laughing and smiling at everything! 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: It's hard to tell Bo "no." He is just a baby and doesn't understand what you mean, but you also have to keep him safe. Now that he is mobile, the whole world is a toy for him. He is more curious about things than Moose was - so it's a different challenge. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: It's been a great month of learning and growing. Watching him crawl around and pick up Moose's toys is awesome! We stayed at Grandma's for a week this month, while our house was shown (9 times in just the first day). It was such fun!! (That sounds sarcastic, but really we had a good time.) It was like slumber party every night. 
Looking Forward to: Summer.. I cannot wait to spend all day with my kiddos every single day! 

Moose: Happy Birthday Mooser

Click on Moose's Race Report to read about little dude's 2nd Birthday Party! 

Here are a few of Moose's favorite things as a big two year old! 

How Big? Moose weighed in at his 2 year appointment in the 90th percentile. He is officially 31 pounds and 36 inches tall. (That's 3 feet! Halfway to the goal... haha)
Clothing Size? Kids clothes are so confusing. He has gotten lean this last year, so some of his 2T shorts from last year are still fitting him! He also can wear 3T and 4T. He is in the biggest diapers they make, and we are starting to gear up for potty training this summer. 
What is he eating? Not as much as I would like, but I keep reading that I just need to keep on exposing him to things. He mostly eats guacamole. It's his favorite thing.
Sleep? He is sleeping in his big boy bed, but we are fighting the control battle. Bedtime can take FOREVER... the screaming, the getting up over and over; it is exhausting. 

Moose's Quirk
Moose has a funny little quirk. He is a bit OCD about things. He likes all of his cars lined up, and when they are going to be put away he likes to drive them all the same path to be put away. 

Silly little love.

Looking forward to: We are looking forward to spending all summer with this crazy little monster! I really hope he likes swimming more this year. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Moose: Moose almost is Turning 2

Can you believe it? My little love is almost two years old! He has learned to make the sign for two with his fingers, and he loves to hold it up and say "two." Then he proceeds in asking everyone present to sign two. "Two Momma, Two Daddy, Two Ga." And heaven help you, if you choose to ignore a request from little mister.  
Things change (obviously) when you have a second kid, but one of the biggest things has kicked me squarely off of my high horse. My son LOVES Cars. But wait- how can a kid love a movie, unless he's been allowed to watch it on repeat? Yeah, I became that Mom: that I-used-to-judge-you-for-letting-your-kid-watch-tv-and-now-I-know-every-one-of-Mater's-lines Mom. It's a reality check, when you have a second little person to care for, and the oldest gets sick and it snows for a week and nobody's sleeping through the night. Go ahead, judge me. I am surviving at this point, and I feel like total crap for ever saying boo about anyone else's parenting choices. (This is why your parents always seem so wise... They've had a lot of opportunity to screw it all up, and by the time you can start to remember things ... and I hope this is true for us... they have it somewhat together.) Okay, enough of my soapbox/rant. 

Moose is turning 2. I am so beyond blessed to have this little turkey in my life. He has grown up so much in the last year. Things have changed so much in our house in the last year.

Last year at this time: We just found out I was pregnant. Moose was just getting to be a good walker. He was saying "yeah, yeah, yeah:." He was wearing 18 month clothes. He was loving some grapes. He wasn't having anything to do with his birthday cake. He was afraid of the swimming pool. He didn't really play independently. 

Now: We have a beautiful little brother for Moose. Moose can climb up the stairs, down the stairs, go in and out of his room all of his own free will and volition. He says all kinds of things and is quite the little parrot. "Now Dodger!" He repeated just last night, complete with thigh smacking frustrated clapping. He is wearing anything from 2T to 4T depending on the brand. He really only wants to eat cookies (again, freely judge me...). We are hopeful that he will swim this year, and sometimes he is so independent that he will pick up your hand and pull you out of the room. 

With his birthday right around the corner, people have begun asking what does he want for his birthday. Again let me say, he NEEDS nothing, but I know that he will like anything Cars. He hasn't seen Planes or the second one, but he would like to those movies.

How Big?: He is like 30 pounds and a giant. I really have no idea how tall he is, but he seems huge. 
Clothing Size?: You know 2T, 3T, 4T... size 6 diapers? Confused, yeah me too! 
What/When is he eating?: Dude is so finicky! He likes to mostly eat ketchup - yes, clearly my child. He also wants a "bite" all the time, but he never wants to eat what you give him. UNTIL he wants to eat EVERYTHING you give him all at once, and in one breath. 
Sleep?: Well.... He's in his BIG BOY BED (I think that is new this month... honestly can't remember, so if it was last month, my bad.) He gets up whenever he wants. It makes the sleeping a whole new adventure for sure!  
Milestones?: Sleepinb in a big boy bed is a whole new world. He can also open doors. He should come with a WARNING label right now. "Cannot. Be. Contained."
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: Moose got croup earlier in the month and just couldn't kick it! It was a week of sad sad little seal-barking-cough. 
Best Moment(s) of the Month: We have had such a blast this month. Road tripping it to San Antonio for the ballgame was awesome!!! 
Looking Forward to: Moose's birthday... I'm also a little terrified because he's getting too big! 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bo: 6 Months

How Big?: This momma is wrong wrong wrong... I thought this kid was way bigger than he actually is! I don't know how I missed it. Sheesh. At his official 6 month doctors appointment, he is officially 16 pounds and 27 inches.  He is in the 40th percentile for weight and 70th percentile for height. 
Clothing Size?: He is wearing much bigger clothes than Moose was at this point, but I have no idea why since he is actually smaller than Moose was? He is wearing mostly 12 month stuff... Maybe I just don't like clothes as tight as other people? Who knows. 
What/When is he eating?: Bo LOVES to eat! He has tried apples, bananas, pears, prunes, carrots and MILK. Bo can drink some major MILK, and we are still going strong. Momma and Bo are going to try to make it on breastmilk for a year. 
Sleep?: Woohoo!! Whoop, whoop. Bo slept the whole night  last night! Go Bo go. First full night sleep.
Movement?: "Mover and a shaker!!! He scoots and scoots. Circles are easy for Moose these days. He will get up onto his hands and knees, but then he just sort of plops onto his face." < this is from Moose's six month post and it is so true! 
Milestones?: First food, First Parade, First Roadtrip, First all night sleep 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: Early on this month, I was almost at my breaking point with little Bo's lack of sleep. The getting up three and four times a night while doing after school cheer stuff was really wearing me out. But then Bo stayed the night with my mom one night, and he only got up once ... and then it was like magic, at home he only got up once... and then last night MAGIC sleep all night moment
Best Moment(s) of the Month: We started putting Bo's baby bathtub in the big tub with Moose at bath time. It is such a gift to watch brothers. The bond they share is so crazy cool. I just love it so so much. We had some truly great moments this month! St. Paddy's Pickle Parade, the Rangers/Dodgers game in San Antonio, Spring Break week! What a happy life. 
Looking Forward to: Summer.. I cannot wait to spend all day with my kiddos every single day! 

Some Photos