Wednesday, July 29, 2009


After the last post, or actually 2 posts ago where I showed video on Riley's accomplishments and trouble-making, he's improved his walking quite a bit. I now am comfortable saying that "he's walking!"

I was amazed at how quickly the progression actually was. That first day he took 3 or 4 consecutive steps then fell. The next day I counted 6 steps and the following day 15! Now he is walking all over the place. He still has his bouts of the drunken stupor but on a good run, he can go from one end of the house to the other without a spill!

You can tell he loves to dig through is book box to throw the books around the room.
I am infinitely entertained by this new infatuation and don't tire of watching him. It puts a permanent smile on my face as he stumbles around and in the air port as we were in transit coming home, I noticed other onlookers with the same smile as they oohed and aaawed at his obviously new skill!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Splashin

Arizona summers are HOT. It's been above around 110-115 degrees the last week or so! The heat really zaps any desire to go outside that I thought I might have had. It's actually a hard adjustment... Ya see, 3 seasons here are wonderful! Winter is so mild that outside play is very natural. But I can't get over my mentality of summertime being the time for outdoor fun. So to keep me sane and give Riley some fun, we head to different splash pads. Just in case "splash pad" needs defining, it's a little play area where water spouts out of the ground and kids run around in it and get wet! Pretty much all the outdoor shopping malls have one and then our City Park just put one in this year too! It's really the only bearable way to play outside in the AZ summer.. well, that and swimming, of course.
My cousin, CJ with my Aunt stopped for a day to visit on their way through. I thought the splash pad would be a fun thing to do and I was trying to get pictures of Riley with her, but I think she had the same intent (to get pix of Riley and me) since she was standing back, camera in hand mostly. Well, I'll get to see them more in Texas next week... Watch out Chrys.. You're gonna get sick of seeing my camera!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adventures Aside

With all the adventures, I have neglected the subject which actually prompted me to begin blogging. That's right- it's my Rile-saurus!! He will be 11 months old while we are at the Ranch in Texas, visiting with my family. It'll be quite the impromptu reunion. My brother and his clan (Pam, Brenden plus baby girl in the oven) will be out there the whole time we're there, and then my soon to be wedded cousin and her mom, my Aunt will be stopping through for a few days!! My dad has cousin's on the west side of Texas and I wouldn't be surprised if we got them to come out for an even more elaborate reunion. Anyway- there I go, getting distracted by travel and adventure.

So here's what's going on with Riley.

He gets into EVERYTHING!! He loves when I open the fridge. He'll speed crawl double time to get over to the open fridge and stand and climb on the little ledge. He's also been known to reach for the YOBABY Yogurt and in the process, knock a bunch of stuff onto the floor. He also loves to play on the dishwasher door. I sweep him off every time, but it doesn't so much as slow him down from jumping back on and setting up camp to hit spoons together and drum them on anything available. He's shut himself in rooms. He bangs whatever is in hand on my coffee tables, not to mention the veil of kid hand prints that are covering everything in my house 2 feet and under. He LOVES the dog kennel. The water bowl has always been an obsession since he first started crawling but now he finds just as much enjoyment inside the kennel with the food dish.

Since we've covered the destructive behavior, let's move onto the MILESTONE category... To keep him occupied, he will stand up and when I am near he reaches for my fingers to steady him. Then he's off!! We do laps around the dining room table and he will stop to readjust his grip so that we can keep on circling... He has been standing on his own, without pulling himself up on anything. The first time was in San Diego and due to his crying after the new trick I think he frightened himself when he was standing and he didn't have anything around to hold on to. He's since improved on that and his balance is pretty good.

Well the pressure is building and I've caught him take a couple quick and small shuffles within the last few weeks. Today I caught a couple steps!!! He's getting brave and was working very hard on walking!!

Disclaimer: Please do not judge me for the DISGUSTING shirt that is on my son. I do not know who put that filthy shirt on him... strange... I was with him all day. Who ever it was is VERY SNEAKY!

So when does one count "walking?" Or "first words" for that matter.. There is so much gray where it's kinda there, but not quite. As far as talking goes, he's got a lot to say! We have conversations through out the day.. Maybe he truely understands what he's saying but I, along with the rest of the human race sure can not! There are a few things that have me raise an eyebrow when he says them. We come downstairs every morning and say hi to the doggie and in his mess of babble, "doggie" usually slips out.

Well, that's about all for now. I'm still loving motherhood and enjoying every moment with my fun little monster!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Backpacker's Success!

Our Independence Day was spent far away from everyone- aside from a few close friends. Well... not that far. We tried out our first backpacking trip with the baby. It worked out well since we took some friends who were also new at backpacking. Baby steps. We drove North East for about 2 hours (not counting the horrendous traffic getting into Payson because apparently lots and lots of people were thinking the same as us- "holiday?! Let's get outta this heat!!") We wandered around a dirt road which turned into a Private drive for a neighborhood. Once through the remote residence, only knowing the direction we wanted to go to check out different areas only studied via topo maps, we bush-whacked for about an hour up hills, across streams and through a wretched Cat's Claw ground cover. We would have gone farther but the last stream we crossed, John had much of his weight on a walking stick we found and it snapped, flinging him into the stream where he then found himself pinned down by his 80 pound backpack!!! That incident was responsible for pulling his hammy so once we all got across, we set up camp.

It was nice. Pretty secluded, right by the stream with plenty of shade to be claimed. Only thing is once we got up the hill from the stream, we found ourselves standing on a four-wheeler path. Bummer. We walked all that way, bush whacking to be right off a trail. Oh well. Hopefully it's not a busy trail.. And it wasn't. Although a 4-wheeler did come by while we were still setting up camp but he gave us insight on an apparent waterfall ahead and the trails destination.

Most of the day Saturday was spent relaxing. We read books, told stories and when we got hot, we'd go down to the stream to cool off.
A crawdad graveyard was scattered among the stepping stones across the river. Once we examined the stream itself, we noticed a plethora of live crayfish just beneath the surface!!! The next few hours were occupied with jumping around, damming the babbling brook to get better visuals in order to catch them!! We told ourselves we were catching dinner but after hours of keeping them in our pot we evaluated the true question... "Who was planning on eating them?" We caught 11 and there were 8 of us, but 3 of us were out from the culinary adventure. And to be honest... I would have had one.. but that's just it. ONE. So after debate, we decided to free our hostages!

Riley did well. He wasn't perfect but for what it was, it was good. The first night he slept all the way through and it seemed our make-shift crib made from PVC and fabric worked! He woke up an hour earlier than his usual 7-8am time. The following night was rough. He did not want to be in his crib and pitched a fit once he knew we were in the tent with him. Finally around 2, I took him out and he slept with me. The problem there is that I am so paranoid that I'm going to roll over on him that my sleep was quite light and broken. ~Sigh~ Oh well. It didn't go perfect but I at least am not discouraged to try again! Riley got to play in the dirt all weekend. And boy did he love it. It was impossible to keep him clean so I gave up. I love how Pioneer Woman put it... "Bathing is a healthy option" but certainly not a requirement.

This trip definitely made me miss Utah and our previous life of adventure. But I don't think we're starving too bad for adventure since we have had Riley. I guess we are the kind of parents who bring the baby everywhere and fit him into our life. Don't know what the "right" way is but this seems to be working for us!