Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Zoo Adventure!

It was scheduled to be a hot one today.  But we've had so many hot days indoors so I decided - spur of the moment - to take the girls to the Dallas Zoo today!  Weather forecast was 105 before heat index, but since the morning was low to mid 90's, I decided to go for it.

Riley was sooo excited!  We kept singing our own song "We're going to the zoo!  Yea!  We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo."  At least until Riley decided it was only her song and that Julia (who was also singing her version) and I could no longer sing along.  :)

We had the most incredible time walking the entire park.  Didn't miss a thing and arrived a few minutes after the gate had opened.  Which meant that we were in the third parking spot in front of the gate.  So nice!

I let Riley choose which animal she really wanted to see first and we headed in the direction of that animal. Her first choice was the giraffe.  She couldn't wait to see it!  We saw penguins and lemurs and elephant ears (too hot for the elephants to really wander around so they were laying down with their backs to us, but we saw their ears flap!).

No glass here!  Riley loved being inches away!

The giraffes were amazing!  They were set down so that their faces were at the same height as ours.  Riley and I were nearly inches from them as they ate.  She did not appreciate the smell of the elephant area and kept plugging her nose and saying "eww... gross!"

So we continued on and saw all sorts of other animals.  She laughed at the gorillas who were laying on their backs ("Look Mom!  I see their butts!")  and was a little nervous around the baboons whose faces looked painted.  She wasn't sure what to make of them.

We brought tons of water, sunscreen and treats to keep us hydrated and protected.  The girls never fussed and were smiling the entire time.  Julia's eyes were huge as she watched each of the animals.  One of the best parts was that the park was practically empty so we had plenty of room to see and stay to watch.  We continued to see Rhinos (Jeremy's favorite animal), Camels, monkeys, tigers, and so on.

After walking for 2 hours, we were about to go home, but were right outside the stage area where they were just about to start a bird show.  I asked Riley if she wanted to go and of course, she said yes.  So we watched a 30 minute bird show that was just awesome.

At one point, two audience members were called up to take pictures with their phones of an owl as it was flying toward them.  The owl perched behind them and they were allowed to take pics up close of it.  As they did, the girl audience member turned her back to the audience.  After they took pics, chickens came out on the stage.  The girl got freaked out and started hopping and jumping backwards - and landed completely submerged underwater in the pool in front of the stage (not a large pool, but large enough).  The workers all came running up to help.  Little did we know that the alligator was the next animal coming out and thankfully, the door had not been open yet for it to come!  They gave her a towel and led her backstage.

Riley's favorite part was when the alligator went out of the water and as the man led him offstage, the alligator ran after him!  Julia loved when the birds flew over our heads and she was just smiling like crazy.  Kept making "neh!  neh!" sounds when they went away because she wanted to see them more.

We went home in time for lunch and had a full afternoon of playing animals, horses, and time in the playroom.  Awesome day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unselfish Gratefulness

I'm always learning new things from Riley, our four year old.  I learn that a dog can change her name from Aubrey to Sequin just because it's time for a new name.  And that you can never wear too many outfits in the same day.  And that there is no better animal in the world than a horse.

Jeremy went into work today and was given two huge garbage bags stuffed with clothes, shoes, rollerblades, and books.  Everything in the bags is for our niece Madison who is living with us and what a total blessing it was.  We couldn't believe the amount of cool clothing (and most of it never worn before) and items that were in the bags.  And this is after two other families and given some clothing for Madi in the past few weeks!

Jeremy got home and the girls and I went through the bags admiring everything before dinner.  Madi was jumping up and down and very excited.  I was just in awe at what had been given and how awesome it was that a friend would do this for us.  So many cute things.

We had wondered how Riley would deal with it.  After all, there was not a single item in the bags for her.  Not a single thing that would fit her or would fit her for a long, long time.  And we have never purchased this many items or given her this amount of stuff ever at one time.  So we were curious to see how she'd do.  And what she'd ask.

At first, she took out items, showed them to Madison and would say "oooohhhh this is sooo cute!"  or "I wove it Madi!  Wook!  Cute shoes for you!"  Then she put her bunny or doggie in a rollerblade and would push it around the kitchen.  She was completely content to play with a few things, try on a few shoes and always give them right back to Madi.

The most interesting part was the talk at dinner.  We were sharing our favorite parts of the day.  We said that we could probably guess Madi's favorite part - to which she totally grinned and gave a thumbs-up.  Riley wanted to share her favorite part so she said "My best part of the day was when Daddy brought home all of the clothes and things and shoes for Madisen.  That was was my best part."  She later added that she also had other favorite parts and that they were that we were all eating dinner together at the table and that Madi got all her new stuff.

We were so impressed with our little girl.  She could have responded by getting jealous or mad that she didn't get anything.  Not once did she ever ask if any of it was for her or if we brought her something or why there wasn't something for her.  She didn't throw a fit. She was simply thankful that her cousin was able to get lots of nice things.  And that was her favorite part of the day.  

Today I learned that Riley has a huge, huge heart that is bigger than we even knew.  We sure do love her.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sweet Girls

The girls and I took my friend Erica dinner today since she just had her first baby three weeks ago.  We were greeted by two friendly dogs.  They played really well with the girls and Riley and Julia couldn't have been happier!  Riley was talking to them the whole time and following them around.  Julia giggled so hard when they licked her face.  She also loved hugging them.

A few minutes into being there, I'd already had to remove several things off the coffee table.  Julia found a back corner where the dog door was.  Gave me the mischievious look.  Then immediately started to put her arm through the door followed by her head.  I said "Julia!"  and she quickly sat back up, looking pensive.  She did it several times.

Then she went over to the portable fan.  She loved the breeze and giggled and leaned her head back to enjoy the breeze.

The next item was the dog bed - comfy and soft, she spent a little time sitting in it.

Julia also took a remote off the table and then set it into the baby swing.  She began pushing the swing side to side as she sang very sweetly "Happy BihDay Do You... Happy Bihday Do you."  She did this for several minutes.  Was super cute and very gentle.

I held Harper (Erica's baby) for a while.  Had forgotten how tiny they are!  Julia kept grunting at her.  So I asked her if she wanted to see the baby.  I bent down and told her to be gentle.  Julia leaned her head to the baby and said "Mah!" (her kissing sound)  She kissed her several times and one time even put her hand on Harper's forehead while kissing.  Precious.

After being sweet, Julia went into the kitchen where she found plastic food and began throwing them all around the floor.  She then got interested in a Couscous box and loved the shaking sound.

Riley really loved being with the dogs.  And later asked us for a cat at dinner.  "I want a cat.  A cat.  I love cats."  In the car on the way home from Gpa and Gma's house, she said "I really need a cat because I love them.  I want to name her Sophie.  Because Sophie is so beautiful. And I will love her."  Maybe a dog one day...  probably sooner than I think.

Rare Form

Riley was in rare form tonight.  Singing the song "Forget You" by Cee Lo (clean version only as heard on Glee) all night long.  Not sure where she heard it as she doesn't watch Glee and we don't play it at home.  Seriously.  We don't.  Though my favorite part is when she does the high pitches - oo ooo ooo!  She wore her uniform white polo with bright and big flower leggings with her light-up Cinderella shoes to Gma and Gpa's house.  Quite the dresser tonight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Having taken the two girls to many check-ups before, I decided to take Riley be herself for her four year old check-up.  Julia's first check-up resulted in her peeing all over the scale, Riley spilling crackers all over the floor and Julia crying almost the entire visit.  As well as Riley needing to do a pit stop at the bathroom.

Other visits included taking both girls to my dentist appointment when Julia was only a few months old.  Still have no idea how I pulled off that one.  Only by the grace of God!  Julia went to Kami's house and she and I headed out this morning for our "girl's day out" (as I called it to make it sound more fun).

The last few days we have talked to her about how she'll be getting shots and what they would be like.  We told her that they would hurt at first, but that they would feel better soon.  She practiced taking care of her animal friends at home with her dr. kit and other tools she found around the house.  She even recited what we had share with her about how it would hurt and practiced giving them shots and she would make them say "ow!"

So here was the big day.  She was awesome in the waiting room.  We read a few books together before being called in.  The nurse told her that she'd play a few games with her.  Riley loved the idea of that.  She did not care for having her blood pressure taken.  Her last check up at age 3, she actually pulled it off and began crying because it was squeezing too tight.  This time, she kept getting anxious when it beeped and the reading got all screwy.  So they just took it off.

Riley had perfect eyesight, great balance (as demonstrated by hopping on one leg and then the other leg), great weight and height.  Perfectly healthy in every way!  The doc talked with her and she told him stories.  He said he normally hears problems with the "th" and "l" sounds at her age, but he didn't hear anything with her speech at all.  Said he was very impressed with her speech.  And then gave her the five-year old exam for balance and coordination.  She did fabulous.

She was a complete trooper for her shots.  Cried for a little bit, but was able to get two lollipops and two stickers which made everything all better.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Falling Asleep

It was my night tonight to put Riley to bed.  She was having a hard time getting comfortable.  Lots of stuffed animals moving around and moving pillows and just moving everywhere.  Finally she had a few friends (stuffed animals) by her - one under her head - and she asked me pray.  So I asked what I should pray for.  Her response was "My horse Goldie.  And my second horse - sdfuiodsufiso (a made up name that I still have no idea what it was)."  So I prayed for her horse.

She lifts her blanket up over her head.  Then peeked out at me a few minutes later and says "Mom, I love you."  And I told her I loved her too.
Was very sweet.

Then she says "If you have to tell me something, you can say "Riley, I love you."  And if I have something to tell you, I will wift da blanket and peek out and say "Mom, I have to go potty."  I just said "Ok."  Not five seconds later, she lifts the blanket and says "Mom, I have to go potty."  I had to ask her "Are you just saying that to say it or do you really have to go?"  She actually had to go.

So off we went and back we came.  She wiggled and wiggled and wiggled and wiggled.  And finally drifted off to sleep looking like a sweet angel.

A New Dad and Little Sister Too

Earlier this morning, Riley told us at breakfast that she wanted a new mom.  After church today, she told us that she also wants a new little sister too.  She wants a new little sister who doesn't scream.

So Jeremy says "Would you rather have a cute sister that screams or an ugly sister that is quiet?"

Riley says "I want a cute sister that doesn't scream."

I ask "Do you want a new dad too?"

Riley says "Yes, I want a new dad too.  A new Dad that will carry me to the car."  (this is because Jeremy had his hands full after church and I was carrying Jules so neither of us could carry her from the church building to the car)

A New Mom

Apparently there is a new program out there for kids entitled "Construct a New Mom."  The kids get to choose their new moms and make them do whatever they want.  Riley wants to enter this new program.

At breakfast, she said that her friend is probably getting a new mom.  "That must be what she is doing.  I want a new mom too.  My mom here (points at me) always says "No, No, No" all the time and I want a mom that will say "Yes, Yes, Yes."  And my new mom will let me eat Eggos at night and all day and all morning.  And this mom here (points at me) does not let me do what I want.  I want to play all day long and my new mom will let me do that."

Well, happy Mom hunting, Riley!!