August 3, 2012

The girls goofing off on a Friday morning. Ali's teething and Riley is still in her phase of wanting to wear "princess" dresses exclusively!

August 1, 2012

What a difference a year makes

 So last year, on this day, we rushed Riley to her GI specialist in the bay area because she had stopped eating and drinking and was becoming seriously dehydrated. She wasn't able to eat much solid food and wasn't talking (at all) yet...A year later, I'm thrilled to report that she's doing so well! She no longer chokes on food, she can talk up a storm and she's thriving at school. I'm so grateful for the her speech and feeding therapists, inspiring teachers and to our friends and family for helping her blossom. She's such a bright and delightful child and I feel so blessed by both the struggles and successes!

July 16, 2012

"Hey, We Match!"

Both Ri and I have had a rough week. I'm not sure which of us is more pathetic, I think it's a tie. I think we are both on the mend, in the meantime we can at least spend quality time by napping together, we've taken tandem naps the last three days and today she crawled on top of me while I was half asleep and napped on my back. She is just the snuggliest!

July 9, 2012

Our girl's gone girly

A whole day of Disneyland and we kind of let Riley determine the agenda. She did splash mtn, space mtn, Alice in Wonderland, tea cups, thunder mtn, small world, etc. But she also got to meet Alice and the mad hatters and three different princesses. I'm not sure exactly how she got started on a princess kick, she adores some of these characters from movies she's never seen or had us talk about. But meeting the characters is always fun because for a minute or so they will make Riley feel like the most important person in the world. It's so fun.

July 4, 2012

Caught Chocolate-Handed

So Happy 4th of July! I think this photo must capture some of the disdain that my British ancestors had for the uncultured American colonists. Sure, we can win the revolutionary war, but we drink canned energy drinks instead of having afternoon tea, we work too damn much and we forgot how to use utensils when eating ice cream.

We also honored our patriotism by setting off fireworks (Ali was in bed by then, but Ri enjoyed them), and letting the kids skinny dip. A truly sophisticated American family affair.

July 3, 2012

Celebrating a 65th!

 Riley had been looking forward to a boat ride. We'd been telling her for days that we were all going on a boat ride and that she would see Grandma and Grandpa and Hannah and that she'd also get to see Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa, who invited all of us to join them for the day to celebrate a huge milestone in the family - their 65th wedding anniversary!

We drove down to Anaheim the evening before and moved into our hotel room (it is a serious move when you've got two playpens, luggage, bags of snacks and drinks and a nebulizer, packs of diapers). Sunday morning we got up bright and early (amazing for our slow-little family) and we drove up to Lake Arrowhead to meet the rest of the family.

Riley was a little unnerved when we arrived and out of her comfort zone, but as soon as she saw her grandma and Hannah, she was in a wonderful mood. She remembered her great-grandparents and was so delighted to get a very charming and adorable gift from Great-Grandma; a hand made pink stuffed elephant!

We ate lunch with family and got to talk to all my cousins (who are all doing really neat stuff) and then we hung out by the lake front for awhile. Riley played "ring around the rosies" with her sister and cousin and a kind stranger took a liking to Ri and gave her a bag of bird feed to give to the ducks. Riley (the ever-thoughtful-animal-nurturer) fed the ducks very carefully and taught Hannah how to give the food to the birds. A great teacher and a selfless share-er. Hannah looks up to her cousin "RiRi" so much and their relationship is just adorable. They have all the wonderful perks of having a sibling without any of the fighting or sibling bickering - it's truly precious.

The only downside to the fun was that with all my dad's family (nearly-almost) in one place, we were only able to start haphazard conversations with all our relatives and before we knew it, it was 4 p.m. and the girls were TOAST. We had to get them into the car and get moving so they could nap. I can't wait to have the girls see their extended families again, maybe soon they'll be contained a little more and we can actually catch up with my cousins, grandparents, aunts & uncles.

June 29, 2012

Cake and Tea for Breakfast, Of Course!

Ri, Ali and Grandma celebrate by eating the bottom
tier of the tiny birthday cake for breakfast!
Riley was so excited to have her grandma come over for a tiny, surprise birthday celebration. She wasn't the best at the "surprise" part. Telling Grandma what was in her birthday package,  and opening the card and telling her "and we have cake!". Ri also sang her rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Grandma at least three times and blew out the candle.

We had so much fun eating cake for breakfast and it's so adorable that Riley now loves the tradition of signing to family on birthdays. I can't wait to celebrate more special occasions with the girls!

May 5, 2012

Sunday Bounce Fun

Ali enjoys trying out a new bouncy toy.
We had so much fun going to a bounce house place last Sunday. Rather than devoting our day to the usual errands and house work, we got out at Dad's urging and we went and had a blast at an indoor bounce house place. Riley was brave enough to go down the tallest slides and she even learned to climb up the "climbing wall" so she could get to the top of these slides. It was a great work out for all of us and a really good deal as Riley was the only person we had to pay for.

Riley enjoyed free falling
down the tallest slides
After we were bounced-out, we devoured a lot of food at Chipotle and headed home to rest for the evening. Riley took a pretty solid nap after burning ALL her energy.

She looks pretty pleased now
that she's reached the bottom!

Ali prepares for hurricane-force winds,
she's not pleased

Matt is totally enjoying playing with Riley too!

April 22, 2012

Controlled Chaos

What a beautiful bug wreath! She loves her wagon!
I'm so behind at keeping up with the kids and I only really have photos and videos on my phone from the last month. I need to take some real photos. I've determined that I WILL do this tomorrow!
It's been months since I've written anything about the kids and I looked at my calendar (jam-packed with nonsense), I counted 51 appointments (for the girls' health) since I last blogged. So, combining that with working and extra curricular activities and caring for the kids (and trying to enjoy life), I've had little time to document their progress.  I'm admittedly quite tired. 

Ali is getting so grown up, she's walking everywhere now and she talks quite a bit. She is so silly and SO affectionate and gives me hugs and says "hi" and "bye" to anyone she encounters. She's sleeping through the night for the most part and I'm so proud of her. She's such a perfect little munchkin-package. All snuggles and curls.

Looking both gorgeous and impish here.

January 21, 2012

Leaving Las Vegas

 It took over 13 hours to travel home from our annual girls' weekend. This time I foolishly took along both of my girls and although it was really wonderful, it was also fraught with challenges. Mainly, poor Ali felt pretty miserable the entire trip. At one point she vomited all over me when we were north of Bakersfield and it was such a mess to clean up (with four more hours on the road after that point, over four hours until we could both get home and clean up).

Anyways, the girls really enjoyed stopping in Barstow and running around like mad in the cold, sunny desert. As always, I had control of only one girl at a time. At any given point I will expend energy on one of the girls and look the other way and see that the other girly is running or crawling far away. luckily I corralled everyone into the car after each of these stops, thanks to Auntie Michele's invaluable help!

January 1, 2012

The Third Year's a Charm!

Riley loves the multitude of balloons
her grandpa picked out for her!
We had the best time at Riley's 3rd birthday party! It was a gorgeous and relaxing event thrown by her grandparents, my parents made her cake so we literally did nothing. We showed up and had a good time!

Ri loves cars and is especially in awe of firetrucks or "byah-buh!" She loves the bright red color and I surmise that she loves the loud sounds and lights that often accompany the firetrucks in our area, which are always on the go near the hospital.

Although she hasn't accepted her age (She still insists on being "two"), we know that being three will turn out to be a wonderful thing for her. If the party is any sign, then it's going to be a great year!

Happy birthday to our spirited girly!
Up, up and away. The balloons were almost strong enough!

Riley's grandparents made this adorable custom cake!

First candle extinguished!

Doing what firefighters do best, getting rid of flames!
Ri shows off just how delicious the cake is that "Gamma Gamma" made!

Ri gets a tutorial on the capabilities of her new truck!
We still cannot believe how gorgeous Riley's dress up set is. Beautifully handmade items
from Aimee that allow Riley to don a colorful owl costume or a custom tutu with
ample style and a slightly edge grunge. Ri shows us here that an outfit made from the
whole combo is a showstopper!