Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Musings from Alli

This weekend we went to Prairie Grove to do a little antiquing.  I am feverishly working on decorating the living room (side effect of being at home watching HGTV for eight weeks...), but I'll update our progress in another post.  We took the entire family, which was an experience.  Alli suffers from a huge case of the "gimmes" - she wants everything in sight.  So I knew the antique stores would be no different, with all of the random knickknacks and goofy stuff that she would love.  On about the hundredth time I said no to "I really want this!", she responded with "If I were my mama, I'd say yes to everything."  I replied "Well, then you'd run out of money."

"No I wouldn't, I'd just go to the bank!"

Gee thanks, Alli.  Why didn't I think of that?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Newborn Pictures

Because we registered at a cute little baby boutique in Rogers called The Baby's Room (and we bought our awesome chair which I am OBSESSED WITH and our crib there), we got 50% off of a sitting fee with Lisa Mac photography.  I alluded to newborn pictures and showed you Riley's headshot at The Baby's Room in the previous post, but after our ordering session Lisa gave me permission to post a few on the blog.  I have to tell you, picking just a few to order was almost impossible.  Thanks to Lisa for her incredible patience and help, and of course her outstanding work.  We are going to treasure her capturing this special time in our lives forever!

All photos are property of Lisa Mac Photography.  Please don't copy or reproduce without her (and our) permission.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Here Lately

We've been back from the beach for a week now and once the post-vacation blues passed, we've really hit the ground running on settling in as a family of four.  Being back home I have really been able to whip Riley into a schedule that works very well for us.  She's eating about every three hours, she's staying up and playing with us a lot during the day, she takes a good long nap in the afternoon, she gets a bath before her evening feeding, and then she sleeps for about six hours at night.  We even had a nine hour night one night! Of course, mamas don't rest as well as babies when they are checking on them every few minutes, do they?  She was scaring me!

Alli has decided she'd like to pick up taekwondo in her efforts to be a real live Ninja Turtle.  Ryan was a second degree black belt and my dad was a first degree, so I guess she comes by it naturally.  If you had told me ten years ago I'd be excitedly attending soccer games and taekwondo lessons for my little girl, I would have told you no way.  But here I am embracing who she is and not who I want her to be.    Thank goodness she likes horseback riding lessons.

We tried out a school on Wedington on Tuesday night.  It was a little fast-paced and a lot of song and dance for me, but I defaulted to Ryan.  He agreed and on the recommendation of a former high school classmate who runs a school in Dallas, we tried out Randy Edwards's school on Township.  Ryan really liked the structure better, and the girl who taught Alli's private lesson actually used to ride horses out at our barn!  Small world!

Alli walked in to the kitchen the next morning dressed like this:

 We're not excited or anything, are we?

This week I also decided that with only five weeks of Alli's summer left and six weeks of my maternity leave left, it was time to stop holing up in our house all day every day and time to start getting out more.  It's so easy with a newborn to just hunker down, but that's not much fun for an almost-third grader, is it?  So this week we hit the skating rink and invited two of Alli's friends to come swim at our neighborhood pool for the afternoon.  And Ryan took the girls by himself to the bowling alley on Friday while I was out.  Alli had a great time and Riley was a trooper.

Skating rink excitement
Alli also had her weekly riding lesson, where she cantered alone for the first time and continued to improve her jumping skills.  I cannot believe how far she has come.  And there's nothing I like more than a morning at the barn.

Friday night, our neighbor Valerie invited me to go with some of her girlfriends to dinner at Bordinos and then to Painting with a Twist.  I hadn't ever been to PWAT before, so I was extremely excited to try it.

I had a great time meeting some new women, getting to know Valerie better, and being out of the house for a while.  Ryan was super dad all night, sending me pictures so I wouldn't miss them too much, but assuring me that he was handling everything just fine without me.  Plus I created this masterpiece.

Saturday morning, we got to hang in as a family.  After almost a month of being in Little Rock and on vacation, we really relished some down time in our own house.  Plus, this little chicken has taken to smiling a lot.  Melt. My. Heart.

And Saturday afternoon, we had our ordering session with the photographer who took Riley's newborn pictures.  I can't wait to share them all with you, and I am so excited that we FINALLY ordered a canvas of the four of us to go in that gaping hole over the fireplace.  Woohoo!!  A bonus of working with the very talented Lisa of Lisa Mac Photography is that your baby's photo gets displayed at The Baby's Room in Rogers.  How wonderful is that?  On the way home, we had to stop in and see it.  And she was there, at the very top, in black and white.

Of course I browsed while we were in there, and I happened across this sweet little footie pajama set by Zutano.  Non-cowgirl ponies on girl clothes?  I'll take ten.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Destin Diary 2013: Vacation Day 6

Did you think I forgot about our last day of vacation??  I didn't - I was just in mourning.  Seriously, I didn't even want to go to the beach with a newborn, and on the last day, I was devastated by our leaving.  We started out our last morning watching dolphins again.  Like I said in the last post, the day was clear and beautiful, which we needed after the rainy day before.  The water finally started looking the emerald color we are used to, even though it never got as pretty as it has in years past.  The excessive rain the week before really caused issues in the water color.

My mom had been admiring the paddle boards all week, so she decided to give them a try.  And of course, she had a little helper with her.

Everyone but me gave the paddle board a shot.  I've seen Jaws II too many times to go out in the ocean on any sort of small craft.

I spent quite a bit of this sunny day playing in the ocean with Alli and tanning on the beach.  Why can't all days be beach days?  Ryan and I also snapped some really great pictures of Riley smiling.

Ahh, couldn't you just eat her up??  We closed the evening with our now annual family beach pictures. I absolutely love these.  It's so awesome to see how everyone changes every year.  I can't believe the first year we did it, I had to twist some arms to get everyone out there.  And now it's a tradition that we can't miss.  We decided to change it up a little this year and do shades of pink, white, and teal.  Riley bucked the system and did green, though.  It was definitely her year to stand out.

We cannot get this man to take more than one or two normal pictures before he starts the pointing and flexing.  Fortunately, Alli and Riley play along well.

We all humored Dad with our own pointing picture.

And I really need to work on my ups.  White girl can't jump.  Don't think I'm not practicing before next year.

We closed the night watching one of my all time favorite movies Jaws (Alli was in bed of course).  You can't watch it until you have a year to get over the fear.  I can't believe Beach Vacay 2013 is already over.  360ish days to go...but who's counting?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Destin Diary 2013: Vacation Day 5

Sadly, our fifth vacation day started out with thunderstorms.  We spent over half the day up in the condo napping, reading, and hanging out on the balcony.  When it looked like the rain had finally blown over, we went down to the beach to hang out...all of us.

That's right - Riley Rachelle ventured down to meet the ocean for her very first time.  I think it was true love.

After some quality ocean time, Alli spent some time in the pool with her new friends for the week - Landry and Addison.

After we soaked up as much ocean as we could, we spent the evening in the condo eating shrimp étouffée from Blalocks and playing a new game called Wits and Wagers (Everyone is asked a question like "How many slices of pizza does the average American child eat in a year?" and writes a guess.  Then you bet on which guess is correct).  I'll go ahead and report that our final day has dawned clear and beautiful with the water we've been waiting for.  Call for reinforcements, you're going to have to drag me away.

Destin Diary 2013: Vacation Day 4

Here's a great start to a vacation day:  A morning at the Donut Hole eating not one, not two, but three Chocolate Angels.  What?  The diet starts Monday.

After a delicious and nutritious breakfast, we dropped Alli and Ryan off at the condo for a morning of ocean fun while Mom, Lindsey, Riley and I hit up the Destin History & Fishing Museum.  This is my mom's favorite attraction in Destin (and perhaps all the world) where one of the founding families of Destin runs a museum detailing the history of the city.  It's really small and really neat - the city has a pretty impressive story.  After that, we took Riley to Dewey Destin's (our favorite restaurant in Destin) to eat some fried shrimp with a view of the bay.

When we got back from Dewey's, Mom and Lindsey went out to the beach and I hung in the condo with Riley, Alli, & Ryan.  I came down just in time for the rain to kick up, and we actually saw dolphins from the beach instead of the balcony - that's a first!

We chatted with our neighbors from Georgia some (he has Masters tickets and trades them for a free week at our condo every year) and then headed in.  I took a good two hour nap, which I never do, and woke up to SupFast - our annual breakfast-for-dinner meal at the beach.  It was alleged that Alli cleared and set the table, which I wouldn't have believed until I saw the proof.  Obviously I need to put this kid to work more.

We spent another evening on the balcony marveling at the ocean in all its glory and lamenting the fact that we were all too tired to play card games every night, even though we always want to.  Maybe tomorrow night?