Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter 2014

Last year there was snow on the ground for Easter. It was sad, but we made the best of it with an Easter egg hunt indoors which is really all I remember doing when I was young (and in this same house!). But in the days leading up to Easter Riley shared that she wanted to do an Easter egg hunt outside. We crossed our fingers that the snow would be gone and that it wouldn't rain. It was a little damp out, but we were able to make it work. It ended up being a beautiful day - the first of it's kind in a long, long, time. Jesse woke early (as in he couldn't sleep and got up at 4:30 am) and hid the eggs outside so they were all in place by the time Riley woke up... at 5:30. We waited a bit and headed outside sometime shortly after 7 am.

Dewy morning




Some one was beyond delighted to get this Frozen CD and a Frozen book (and some silly socks, and Ariel t-shirt, a Doc McStuffins coloring books and some Wonder Color markers) from the Easter Bunny. As you can imagine, we all have the Frozen soundtrack running though our heads since we have to listen to it all the time. I put it in my computer one day and she just sat staring at the booklet that comes with it - following along with each song. Some serious Frozen love going on over here.






Um, yeah... pretty sure this is the remnants of a dead bunny. You may not be able to tell here, but that's fur and the outline is very bunny like. We steered Riley clear of this part of the yard, obviously. No need for creating Easter PTSD.




After the egg hunt we went inside to read Riley's new book and color in her new coloring book. It was a long and lazy morning.


So confident that she's not going to fall. She's been lucky so far - knock on wood.


We then got ready and waited for grandpa to come over. My dad is always early, but he arrived over an hour early. He got his times a little mixed up, but that was fine because it gave us a little extra time with him.

Showing off her Easter outfit


Reading the Frozen book for about the 5th time that hour.

My dad gave Riley a bunch of treats, and then we headed off to my brother's house. My sister in law asked me to take some pictures of her sons so I did that when I first got there since one of them had to head off to work that afternoon (more about those pictures in another post). After that it was a lot of hanging out, eating, taking pictures, and checking out new baby Sawyer.

My sister, Judy, and my dad

My brother, Chuck, put together a few games for the young kids (James, Alex, and Riley). Prior to Easter he emailed me to let me know that Riley could win 'valuable prizes'. Haha, ok. But when it came time to play the games she didn't want to join in. We encouraged her to give it a try, but she said no so we didn't push it. Jesse later commented that if the games revolved around books or coloring she would have been all over it. A few family members kept on Riley about playing like they were going to be able to convince her. It reminded me of when I was a kid. I hated the pushing people would do. It was as if people didn't trust me to make my own decision. I know they were well meaning and just wanted to let Riley in on the fun... and the valuable prizes, but I could just feel the pressure on her.

James (5) and Alex (2 or 3?) played the first game while we watched from the stairs, but when Chuck gave darts to the boys for the second game we all hightailed it off those stairs.




The popping of the balloons bothered our kid who hates loud noises so we went inside to snack on more appetizers and then out in the back yard to play with the bubbles (one of the valuable prizes) Riley was given just for being there.


Eventually, the games wrapped up and everyone trickled inside or out to the back yard. My nephew's wife, Jenny, got Riley to go out front with the boys and play and then played some other games indoors (including hide and seek). I have to give Jenny a big kudos because she's always been so great with Riley. Much of my family are outspoken Italians that mean well, but can be overwhelming to some... like my kid. Jenny has always applied the right touch with Riley. Once when Riley was about 3 months old and still a little colicky I took her to a wedding shower for my niece. Riley was on the verge of crying whenever anyone looked at her, but she actually let Jenny hold her and fell asleep in her arms. It was pretty amazing and I've always appreciated Jenny for that.

Not sure what this game was, but it looked really fun.

The newest baby in the family

We were about to get ready to eat when Jenny shared with us that Riley went to take a rest after playing games. I found her in my nieces room where she insisted that she wanted to stay there and rest. That's not really like my kid, but she hadn't been feeling well or sleeping the greatest so it didn't totally surprise me.



Shortly after, Riley decided to come out and join us for dinner, but mentioned a couple more times that she wanted to rest. Definitely not feeling her best.


My brother in law, Jim


But before you know it Riley was running around with her cousins and playing with bubbles again.

First we give kids darts and then we place them next to open water...



It was a fun and eventful Easter day. I'm always a little torn about Easter since we aren't really religious. It seems like an excuse to give you kids candy and gifts they don't really need... but I also like holidays for the chance to get together with family. One day I will explain to her what Easter is really about (besides the Easter bunny), but for now it was just fun to see her delight in the day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day in the Life - Spring 2014

Time for another Day in the Life post as hosted by Navigating the Mothership... and this quarter with a little help from Adventures in Tullyland.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Riley is 4 years 2+ months old
I'm 42 and Jesse is 39

The past Day in the Life posts that I've done have made it apparent to me that I am not the best sleeper. So when I went to bed the night before I thought "I hope I can document a good sleep this time" That would not be the case.

At all.

Leading up to this night were a couple weeks that were hard on me physically and mentally and my body was feeling it. Plus, I had to work 11 - 8 (and like usual someone calls me minutes before 8 so I really worked until 8:15... on a Friday night). These shifts are always hard on me, but I ended the night with a migraine and the inability to bend my head to the right so I took a Vicodin to help cut the pain. I guess I should have taken my other pain 'cocktail' as it helps me sleep better too. When I work late like this I always have a hard time winding down, but this night was ridiculous.

With that said, let's commence...


10:06 - I went to bed a few minutes after 10 pm and proceeded to have 'running brain' where I was thinking of everything and anything. Jesse's not much of a snorer, but decided to become a weird snorer this night. Weird in that it was just a strange sound coming from him. I had to nudge him multiple times, and for the most part he stopped. Then I thought I heard Riley say something from across the hall. Riley's been feeling a little off so I was worried that she might not sleep well. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just hearing things. At some point I decided that it was just a combo of the fan in our room, Jesse making sleep noises, and an airplane overhead.

10:32 - I get up and go to the bathroom. Maybe this will help. While in the bathroom, I do hear Riley in her room making sleep noises. I'm not crazy after all. Go back to bed and continue to have various thoughts race through my brain.


11:36 - Yup, still up, but I might have gone into a light sleep once or twice. I don't feel like I've slept, but I am also surprised that an entire hour has passed by. Go to bathroom again. If I can't sleep I automatically do this to knock it off the list  of things that may be impeding my sleep. I go downstairs as Diablo has not joined us in bed as he always does. He's been off for a day or two so I am a little worried about him. I bring him up to bed hoping that will help settle my thoughts too. Also, think I hear more of Riley during this time. After I get back in bed I have a lot of body pain - like pinched nerves. I flip over and the pain just shifts to a different spot. Also, my tummy feels a little off which I think is because of the Vicodin. None of this is helping me sleep.


12:13 - Still up. A friend's dad was killed in a tragic car accident earlier in the week. A drunk driver with revoked license hit him head on while he was driving home after work to celebrate his 75th birthday. So horrible... and I start thinking about it at this time. It happened really close to my house and then I remember hearing a lot of sirens that night. I remember wondering that night what was happening that there were so many sirens. Now I know. Not the best thinking material to help one sleep.


1:12 - Hey, still awake. May have fallen asleep for a moment, but I wake up in a big sweat. Cat in bed is not helping this situation (they are serious little heaters). I take off a layer and while I cool down, my feet don't seem to want to and I am super irritated by this. WEIRDNESS ALERT: I decide to go downstairs and grab an ice pack for my feet. Check the internet even though I know this is a bad idea, but head back up and am in bed shortly after 1:30 with my ice pack on my feet. It's not the first time I've done this and it really helps.

1:40ish - I've given up taking pictures of my clock. I mean, really. I am so tired and was so hopeful that I would fall asleep this time, but I hear Riley cry out and it's louder than before. I wait, because I think she can get herself through it, but also because I am still sort of doubting what I am hearing. She cries out some more so I just go in and discover that she needs to go potty. Take care of that and send her back to bed where she immediately goes back to sleep. Realize that my mommy radar was probably contributing to my lack of sleep. Any little noise I heard I thought was her. I go back to bed with my ice pack.

2:00ish - Guessing this is about the time I fell asleep. Amen.


5:33 - Wha? What's going on? Oh, that's my kid yelling for us from her bed. She knows that she is supposed to stay quiet and in bed until 6:00, but this is the second morning in a row that she calls out for us. I go in there and explain that she needs to stay quiet in bed until at least 6. She really needs the sleep too since she's not feeling well. I go back to bed, but about 10 - 15 minutes later she's calling out again. Jesse goes in to her room and takes her downstairs. I feel a moment of guilt for him getting up with her after I know he had a long day with her on Friday (she didn't have preschool and had a dentist appt that did not go well), but I cannot live on this little of sleep so I go back to bed.


7:20 - I could probably sleep longer, but I am hungry, and the cats are hungry so I get up. I'm tired, but I'm a 'hit the ground running' kind of person (for the most part) so I get up and clean up Riley's room and our room before heading downstairs.



I find Jesse and Riley playing games on the iPad on the living room floor. I clean up around the house: dishes, laundry, picking stuff up from everywhere. I prep some rice and water the plants. Riley moves to the table and eats some food while Jesse goes to his computer. While cleaning up I find a picture Riley and Jesse drew me that morning propped in front of my computer. Love it times a gazillion.




Talk about our plans for the day. It was Jesse's mom's birthday the day before and we had talked about seeing if she wanted to do lunch or dinner, but apparently Jesse never asked her even when he saw her the day before. He commences texting with my father in law. We discover that they also want to bring over an Easter basket for Riley. We decide on lunch at 11:30.

I'm sure I'm tired with only about 5ish hours of sleep, but I want to keep moving. I'm afraid to stop for too long in case I lose all my momentum. I mostly eat my breakfast standing up. Jesse picks out Riley's clothes and gets her dressed so we can head to the gym. Seems when he picks out her clothes in the last year on a Day in the Life day he puts her in the same pac-man shirt. Meh.



Ready for the gym


It's like she's ready for her Senior picture poses

8:50 - In the car! Going to the gym! Seriously, can't figure out how I have the energy and motivation for this. I'm the type that needs 8 hours a night of sleep. I work out (cardio, back, biceps) and see the president of my company working out too.


Head home and jump in the shower. I am gross and needed a shower before working out. Feel so much better after the shower. Give Riley some food as she says she's hungry - plus she rarely eats food we order at the restaurant so might as well feed her now. Rush to finish getting ready as we need to pick up a last minute gift.

Clean and ready to go

11:02 - Head out the door to meet my in-laws for lunch. The day before Riley and Jesse brought my mother in law a small gift (a rice pack you can use as a heating or cooling pad - my co-worker makes them) and a card Riley made when they went to the dentist (where my mother in law works), but we wanted to get her something more than that. We'd actually been thinking about it for weeks, but hadn't decided for sure. It's hard buying gifts. At any rate, we decided to pick up a Barnes and Noble gift card on the way and arrived at the restaurant a few moments before them.


We haven't eaten at Cheesecake Factory in forever so apparently we forgot how big their meals are. So stuffed and lots of leftovers! Riley got her Easter basket and proceeded to color with her new Sophia crayons and read her new Easter princess book.

Happy Birthday grandma!


As we leave the restaurant Riley tells us she wants to go home and take a rest. Yes, we all do child. We get home and she eats a little bit more while I decide to take pictures of the cats to play with my new 35 mm lens. While I am on the floor it finally hits me how tired I am. I now know that I will not be using Riley's nap time to do anything productive. I will be napping myself. Before I do so I put away the finished rice, fold some laundry and prep for egg coloring after nap time while Riley does some last minute picture coloring.




Easter basket from the grandparents

Such a big girl - washing her hands without the stool



1:50ish - We head up to nap and she reads me "Oh the Thinks you can Think" and does pretty good with most of the words.She wants me to stay and cuddle... and I do for a few minutes, but I don't want to fall asleep in her bed. I want to sleep somewhere I will be comfortable and get some good sleep. I head downstairs and do a few things before laying down.



Having fun taking self portraits in the dark

Where I took my nap

2:17 - Jesse's gone to the basement. I think he's down there playing video games. I was thinking about napping on the couch down there so instead I move into the guest bedroom. Turns out Jesse went downstairs to take a nap too. I crash pretty fast, but am woken just after three pm by my phone ringing. I am still getting used to this new phone so the ringer volume seems especially loud and I'm not used to the ring. Wake confused and try to answer the call, but it's not working. Also, can't figure out how to get the phone to alert me when someone leaves a message. I hate adjusting to a new phone. I get up and go to the bathroom and decide to call my voicemail just in case. It's my sister in law making sure that I bring my good camera to Easter as she wants me to take some pictures of her boys.

3:07 - Go back to sleep and again I crash hard.Wonderful, deep sleep.

4:40 - Wake up. Man that sleep was needed. Surprised Riley isn't up as we usually wake her at 4:00 if she isn't already awake. If we let her sleep longer it messes with her bedtime. As I still lay in bed I hear Jesse go upstairs to get Riley. She comes downstairs and we turn on some Netflix for her while she comes about. We snuggle on the couch for a little bit after Jesse gives her some medicine and we are joined by one of the cats. We are all a little in post nap stupor. Except for Lucy the cat. She's hungry. Always hungry.



5:00 - Time for food. Make Riley a sandwich, cucumbers, and a banana. We have a bunch of leftovers so I eat some rice/black bean/mango dish and Jesse works on the chicken sausage and rice from dinner the night before.




After dinner, we finally color our Easter eggs. We picked up this kit for a buck or so at the thrift store. It's a pretty basic one and does the trick. Riley has fun adding the face stickers and asks that we do this same kind next year as well.



Not sure what's happening here, but it's probably a Frozen scene reenactment


I end up making eggs and toast as the leftovers I ate just wasn't filling enough. Riley sat next to me and colored a couple pictures in which she demanded I tell her what to draw and what color to use.

I realize I haven't taken my picture a day yet so I haul one of Riley's piggy banks downstairs into the remaining halfway decent light and take a picture. The prompt of the day is 'money'.

7:00 - usually we are heading upstairs at this time, but are just getting into the bath. We make it a short one. It ends on a mildly traumatic note when Riley stands up and the faucet hits her back.



Upstairs we do our regular bedtime ritual. Jesse helps Riley get some pajamas on. I help her brush her teeth and we update the calendar. We then read a couple books together. It's late so I normally would have only read one, but I agree to two. She reads one and I read one.




7:50 - I head downstairs and prep Easter stuff, then sit at my computer. Except for a couple brief moments checking email and the weather earlier I haven't spent much time at my computer. I think I might upload my pictures and go through them while watching some TV, but I realize that I really need to get this day written out as I haven't taken any notes, and while I snapped a few pictures of the clock to remind me of when I did stuff the lack of sleep earlier has made this entire day fuzzy. I sit down and start writing this out while listening to Riley via the monitor read stories. She calls out and Jesse goes up to check on her. He reports that she didn't need anything. I stop to ask Jesse multiple times what happened and when to help me piece this day together.



9:05 - Riley calls out again. This is why we don't let her nap past 4 pm. In fact, we love school days since she doesn't nap much and falls asleep at a decent hour at night. I go upstairs and she tells me she's cold. I put another blanket on her. She asks for another barrette so I give her one (not sure how this became a tradition, but she asks for one every night). Within about 10 minutes it sounds like she is asleep. I continue putting together this post while Jesse plays his Diablo video game behind me.

10:00 - Time for bed. Oh wait, I'm going to have a few dark chocolate sea salt almonds since I haven't had my fix for the day. Then I take my naproxen/muscle relaxer mix that will help with the neck pain I still have (mobility is slightly better today) and will help with sleep. I'm not fooling around. Have a momentary lapse in remembering how to spell 'fooling'. Really? That's my sign to brush my teeth and head up to bed. Goodnight.