Thursday, June 30, 2011


A couple weeks ago we were visiting Grandma Suzie and Grandpa Michael while uncle Richie was in town. Riley loves corn, but hadn't figured out how to tackle corn on the cob so we gave it another try.


Nom, nom, nom, nom.... I'd say she definitely figured it out.

And 30 some years earlier....


Slap a couple of pigtails on Jesse and they'd look like the same kid.

Grandma and Grandpa also got Riley a German tricycle. The first time she saw it she was interested, but the second time she really started to embrace it. This was probably a week or two before the above video:

 I love how she 'skootches' herself across the room.

This past weekend we went to Home Depot where Riley was delighted by all the balloons on display. Once upon a time she was deathly afraid of balloons. Petrified. But strangely, comfort came with this balloon. Now, as you can see, her balloon fear is gone.

She keeps this up and she's gonna get us kicked out of Home Depot...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saturday was a very busy day yet it felt like we didn't get anything done.

Except take some pictures, of course.

Mommy may or may not have been tickling me here.

Saturday morning we went to Building Material Outlet, aka BMO. We were looking at tile for our kitchen as we may not go with simple white subway tile for the back splash. I was pretty sold on it, but Jesse thought it would be too much white. Last weekend we went to another tile store and found a couple tiles that we both liked. One was actually a smaller white subway tile, but the face of the tile was wavy. The other was a mosaic brown rectangle glass tile. I like them both, but they are drastically more expensive than the original plan. So we are shopping around and thought we might be able to find a deal there. Unfortunately, they didn't have anything we were interested in for the back splash. We did find tile we might like for the floor, but we weren't ready to buy.

We planned for our weekend to be filled with looking for tile and lighting (besides the regular stuff - watch the kid, clean the house...). What we hadn't planned was that we would be looking at cars. We bought our car almost a year and a half ago in a whirlwind weekend when I was almost 7 months pregnant. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and our one and only car broke down. Luckily we had been discussing buying a new car since we had a baby on the way so we had a handful of cars we were interested in. After checking out all the cars on the list we settled on a 2007 Mazda CX-7 in Black Cherry. We thought we got a pretty good deal on it as it had low miles, was leased to only one person, still had a warranty and had a reasonable price. Since purchasing the car we have brought it in to be serviced numerous times. It certainly seemed like it was more than it should have been, but we were just grateful it was under warranty. After the warranty ran out Jesse decided to run a carfax report where we discovered that it had been in an accident 10 months before we purchased it. The report we received from the dealership said that it had not been in an accident. Needless to say we were a bit upset. Jesse went to the dealership this weekend to try and resolve this since he really didn't want to keep this 'lemon' anymore. They stated that they were willing to do a trade in and bump up the trade in price a little bit. We are still in negotiation over what this price will be, but we did start to look at some car options.

Later in the day we made a trip to the park.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Poor Riley had a bit of a fall last night. Apparently her tooth punctured her lip. I was at work and received an email from Jesse that Riley had fallen, there was a lot of blood, but she recovered fast and was now peacefully asleep. Made me want to hang up the phone, jump in the car, speed home, and crawl into the crib to cuddle with her.

Since then she has been in a good mood - you'd never know that she had such a big fall. She's such a trooper!

I took a few pictures of her while she was in the bath so I could capture the little bruiser. She was actually in a pretty good mood even though the first two pictures make it look otherwise. I think she was just playing it up so it looked like she was miserable.

She has a number of toys she plays with in the tub, but she has always loved her daddy's Fleet Farm cup. Her favorite thing is to fill it up with water and pour the water onto her chest... over and over and over...

Speaking of bath time I took the following pictures a couple weeks ago. After her bath I carry her upstairs wrapped in her towel and then set her down so she can walk to her bedroom. She started walking around with the towel as if she had on a special cape. She was actually more dramatic than these pictures show.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day part two

This weekend we had the pleasure of having Jesse's brother, Rich, visit us from the faraway land of Pennsylvania. He came in late Thursday night and hung out with the family on Friday (minus me as I had to work). I was feeling a little lonely at work so I sent Jesse a picture and a text message letting him know so.

Yes, I'm a dork.
I have to admit I really sent the picture with the hope that he would send one back... and he did.

Eating green beans at Grandma's

As you can see Grandma Suzie and Grandpa Michael got Riley a horsey. Oh, and a big shout out to Auntie Katie for the super cute ribbon barrettes.

We went over to Grandma and Grandpa's on Saturday and Riley ended up with about 5 barrettes in her hair. She is starting to show signs that she is reaching that dressing up stage of her life. When we are at home she is often asking for help putting on her shoes and hats. We assume she is really into dressing up. That, or she just really wants to leave.

Saturday I dressed her up in her most recent concert t-shirt (thanks to G-ma Suzie and G-pa Michael)!

Dancing to 'Hell's Bells' I'm sure.
Geez, she looks cute in that outfit (and that's coming from someone who is not a fan of ACDC). Riley also spent a lot of time hanging out with uncle Richie. Here she shows him how to work the stove in her kitchen.

When you push this button you have to rock your body back and forth cause it makes a fun sound.
Saturday we also made a quick trip to a lighting store as we are still struggling to find three pendant lights for our kitchen that we actually like. The sales guy was rather impressed with Riley's ACDC t-shirt and personality. He joked that she was working it pretty good and that he might be convinced to give us a 20% discount. Too bad we couldn't find out if he was serious as we did not find the lights we wanted. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended). This store had reasonable prices (as they are an outlet store) and they get new shipments a couple times a week. We are excited to go back next week to see what they have.

Sunday morning Riley gave Jesse his Father's Day gift. I had to assist her a little in bringing it all together, but I would say she did a pretty fine job.

My Super Dad is a book I ordered through flattenme. They have a ton of cool books, cards, wall art... that you can insert a picture into. Jesse was less that thrilled to have a book with his picture in it since he is not a fan of having his picture taken, but he quickly warmed up to the book. The picture of Jesse is from Mother's day when he simply thought I was taking a picture of him to post on this blog. Little did he know I was trying to get a good picture for the book.

After giving daddy his gift we all piled into the car to go see Grandpa Frank. The plan was to go check out the Hamel Lion's Flea Market at the Medina Ballroom. My dad has been looking for a hedge trimmer and was hoping to find one that day, but no such luck. We did run into some friends and neighbors of my dads so that was one benefit for getting out... besides getting to spend the morning with him. The flea market did have some nice/interesting/cool stuff, but there was also a lot of crap to be found. Next time I need to get rid of stuff I may just grab a card table, pay 20 bucks for a spot, and try and sell it there.

When we returned home Jesse went for a bike ride and Riley and I played. Of course, I grabbed the camera and took a few picture. I decided to try some natural light pictures. They may not be the sharpest pictures, but I love the softness that occurred in them.

On the move

She may be getting a little too comfortable with our 'photo shoots'. Above she looks 16 months going on 21 years. Yikes.

Bursting with personality.

Ok, so the one above isn't natural light as you can tell with the flash glowing off her forehead and the shadow on her shoulder. Whatev. Just wanted to share.

Sunday afternoon we went to Jesse's uncle Greg's house for a BBQ. I had been looking forward to an opportunity to make Sarah's lamb chops ever since I was introduced to them. Sarah is a woman that I have helped out when she hosts parties for her families and friends. I basically help set up, make sure the party stays running (food, drinks, etc.), and then I clean up. At the last party she served lamb chops that had tons of flavor, but weren't too 'gamey' as lamb can sometimes be. Jesse loves lamb so father's day seemed like a good time to make them. They turned out great and Jesse really enjoyed them.

I also made my co-worker, Lisa's, 'Champagne Salad' that she brought into work last week for a brunch potluck. There really isn't anything champagne and certainly isn't anything traditionally salad about it. Basically you mix together cream cheese, sugar, whipped cream, strawberries, pineapple, and banana and freeze. Traditionally you serve it with champagne at brunch. Super, super simple. It was a nice frozen treat on this muggy day.

We had a nice time hanging out with the family at Greg's. Greg has a great house, fantastic yard, and envious workshop. Riley especially liked this dragon fly in his garden.

This little guy is Riley's second cousin, Jackson. Quite the handsome little fellow. He already knows two languages as his mom, Zlata, is from the Czech Republic. Pretty impressive.

Greg had this swing attached to the overhang of his workshop. A perfect spot for Grandma and Riley to spend some time together. Riley made the cutest noises while swinging here. Wish I could get her to embrace the swings at the park just as well.

Lucky for Riley uncle Greg's house had plenty of ants to follow. You can't see the bug here, but Riley spent a fair amount of time examining these creatures.

These puppies are illegal in 47 states
Josie the puppy

Noah and Richie
Playing Bocce Ball

Doing the 'Motorboat'

Below is a rare photo sighting of myself and Riley. What is even more amazing is that I don't have one eye closed, or my mouth isn't open... basically, I look relatively normal. Riley wasn't entirely cooperating, but I will take what I can get.

Suzie and Jesse
The most awesome work shop ever.
It was quite the enjoyable weekend. So sad it is over. It was incredibly hard to come into work today, but there's always next weekend, right?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Father's Day part one

Today was Father's day. Ok, not really, but my family decided to celebrate it today. My sister, Judy, and her husband, Jim, will be in San Diego next week for my nephew's wedding so Judy offered to have a get together at her house a week early. Guess she knows that the rest of us aren't very good at organizing when she's away.

And, thankfully, Father's day is actually next week as Jesse has strep throat this weekend. Hopefully, he will be completely mended by next week.

So Riley and I headed out to Judy's house on our own. Riley only took one shorter morning nap so I was grateful when she fell asleep in the car. I was tempted to continue driving around to ensure she got some rest and didn't end up crabby, but I just woke her and hoped for the best. She was a little hesitant at first, but eventually began to warm up. The first thing we did when we got there was to grub on the nummy veggies my sister-in-law, LaRaa, brought. Riley ate tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber, cauliflower, and even onions! Grandpa is a huge fan of onions so I am pretty sure he was delighted that she was eating the raw onions he was feeding her. That was her gift to him. : )

We hung out in the back yard with the rest of the family as they sat around the bonfire and played games.

Jacey showing Chuck how it is done.

LaRaa waiting her turn.

LaRaa showing her moves.

So I know it looks like Judy is irritated here, but that is my picture taking skills to blame. More often than not I see a great moment, take the picture, and look down to see that I've captured someone blinking, covering their face, looking away...

Annie and Connie hanging out.

Ann chillin' in the back yard.

My Daddy.

Riley and her Grandpa.

I am pretty sensitive to things such as smell so the bonfire quickly made my slight headache much worse. There once was a time when I would have loved to sit around a fire all night. Now they make me flee. When one of the neighbors has a fire we close up the house tight and curse them and the popularity of the fire pit. And don't even get me started on people who really like perfume. Jesse also has a sensitivity to smells and a predisposition to headaches so I am a bit worried for Riley's future. Hopefully, she won't be inflicted with this headache crap too. I apologize in advance, kiddo, if you are. Mommy loves you and will kiss your head until it is all better.

At any rate, Riley and I headed inside where she proceeded to climb up the stairs and then attempted to come down them. She hasn't quite got the 'down' system yet. Jesse and I have tried to show her the crawl back down method, but she's never seen us do this when we walk down the stairs. It's no wonder that she wants to 'walk' down the stairs just like we do. It makes sense. She tried several different methods today, but did finally crawl down in a safe 16 month old way! 

Riley also got to play with some very cool toys that auntie Judy had. She was pretty happy about that and I'm sure she would have said 'thank you' if only she had mastered that in her vocabulary. 

We then ate dinner (where I pigged out on two hotdogs) and then headed home to get Riley in a bath and to bed as she was tired. There was a lot of good food, but I only photographed my fruit while I was there.

Nummy, fresh fruit kebabs!

Before I left LaRaa handed me a large piece of cake she made. I don't quite remember the details, but it was a yellow cake with pinneapple topping, whipped cream, and coconut. Sure, I thought it sounded good, but I'm not a huge cake fan. I brought it home and hoped that Jesse would feel well enough to want to help me eat this (after taking off the coconut, of course). I took my first bite and... OMG... the cake was probably the moistest cake I've ever eaten. It was fantastic and now I hope Jesse is not feeling up to eating the other half that's now in the fridge. And LaRaa should really come up with a name for the cake that embodies how delicious it is. Perhaps 'Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious cake'? I took a picture, but it doesn't begin to show how good it was.

Cake so good.

So that was Father's day part one. Next week Jesse's brother will be in town from PA. I may tackle a lamb chop recipe so more to come on if that is a success or not... or completely aborted.