Friday, September 24, 2010


Lately, life has been crazy, hectic, a relentless whirlwind.

In other words, BUSY. And not much downtime for blogging :(

Going here, going there, packing and unpacking, cleaning as much as possible (but never catching up), cooking meals, and paying bills. Sleeping has been an afterthought, and work, though exciting and interesting, has been a source of mental drainage as well.

We are smack dab in the middle of starting a new life for our little fam… Yes, we are moving to the country. With the wheat fields and moo cows...

Do I hear "Green Acres" playing in the background? Hmm... yep.

A small town life, and definitely outside “a stone’s throw” distance from a Wal-Mart.
I honestly don't know how I’m going to manage this… I am already having nightmares. And not that I like Wal-Mart, because I DON’T. I can’t stand the place. But it was there, not if, but WHEN, I need it. Because I am ALWAYS forgetting or running out of SOMETHING. Like it or not, it has been my safety-net. Now it will be 20 minutes away.

God Help Me!

I will have to adapt to stocking up on the essentials and a few other key items to get by from now on. Or we'll have to resolve to eating "whatever's in the pantry" which means tortilla chips and canned peaches for dinner (as Riley says, "Mmm!")

But, this is Ryan's dream. His happy place. Country living and farming. I am happy where he's happy. As long as I am not required to have a perfectly stocked pantry, clean house, and can start making large orders from which is amazing, in case you didn't know.

The "new" farm house (and by new- I mean, "new to us") needs a little bit of updating. It's a 1960's home, and though in very good condition, has been updated very little over the years. Since the bank account is going to be redicuously small until we win the lottery (I wish!) we will only be able to redo maybe the floors (I don't think I'll miss the rust-colored shag carpet!) and painting the walls. Thank goodness the ceiling isn't popcorn textured. And only one wall of wood paneling. Thank goodness. I think I can ignore the rest.

We have been trying to sell our current house (that is, if I could keep it clean for more than 5 minutes, and if Ryan could work in mowing the yard every other week). I honestly cannot remember the last time I vacuumed, there is 3" of dust on the countertops, and the grass outside is taller than Riley. Buy Me, Buy Me!

This has been my weak point. Trying to keep up with Riley and work and my own sanity (especially after going through the whole e. coli ordeal with Riley and no daycare for a month) has been challenging to say the least. Ryan is stretched pretty thin at this point also. Work, farming, raising cattle, and being a husband/dad is a overflowing plate too.

This is where I will say thank you (again and again and again) to all of my family and friends who were there for us when we needed you. I truly felt lucky and so thankful for all who went out of their way to help. I was honestly to a point where I didn’t know how I was going to make it through the week… something’s gotta give, right? And you all were the answer. So thank you!

Riley has been a joy, but is always going through something new. Once the e.coli was out of her system, and we breathed a huge sigh of relief, then immediately began a new bedtime routine. No more rocking to sleep, it was time Riley learned how to fall asleep on her own. Once that was mastered after a few nights, then it was time to say “bye-bye” to the bottle and standardize the sippy cups in the cabinets. So far, so good! I have yet to overcome the paci. I think I'm going to wait at least until 18 months before I get brave enough to take it away!

She is getting so big (I can't believe she's 15 Months already!), and so smart!

Riley "spinning" - She puts her arm out and turns in a circle! So cute!

She knows her body parts- nose, bellybutton, feet!

Even ones she can't see- ears, eyes, head, teeth, tongue! She proficiently says (and waves) "bye- bye," and I can make out "Uh Oh," "Hi," and of course, "Mama" and "Dada." The rest is jabber, jabber, jabber... or rolling her tongue in crazy combinations!

She regularly points at things she wants, and is running... EVERYWHERE! This little girl has scraped up knees (I've recently bought $20 of neosporin, just so I had one of the "Neo to Go" in every possible place I could think of)

She is extremely determined, is climbing on EVERYTHING. I swear, I turn away for .0285 seconds and she's on top of the kitchen table. All of the chairs are pushed in, and I never heard a thing. How? Maybe she had Scotty beam her up, I still don't know! Sure scares me to death though!

She loves to feed herself...

And no longer makes the colossal mess that she used to... and in turn, I am finally able to sleep at night... and not have to worry that a giant avacado was going to explode in my house.

She loves the lake, loves being outside, and being independent, a good mix of her daddy and me in her!

At this point, I think that if we can get through this, and I mean fixing up the house at the farm, sell our house, and move; I'll bet our little family can handle just about anything.

So bring it on! We're ready for a challenge!

Well... ready or not, we're in for another crazy, hectic, relentless whirlwhind of a year!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lake Rats

Grammie & Pop are lake rats.

Aunt Nini and Mommy are lake rats too.

We were raised that way!

And so is this little one!

Hangin' with Pop

Floating with Mommy

Eating graham crackers!

Dancing to Zack Brown Band!

Playing with Grammie!


Good Riddance

A lot has been going on in our lives lately. I think more than usual anyway.

Of course, Riley had come home from the hospital and was battling e. coli which required collecting test samples 3-4 times/week, scheduling babysitters for Riley, waiting anxiously for test results; I have been leading several huge projects at work, and cleaning our house and having open houses since we are trying to sell it and move to the country.

Ryan has been also working overtime as well to ensure that everything behind the scenes get taken care of. And the cows. And his job. Oh yeah, and us, his family.

And honestly, except the e. coli, these are all good things.

I like having projects at work. We want to move to the country. We were so lucky to have family to watch Riley for us, and for them to get to spend extra time with her. If I can say one thing, I'll say we haven't been bored lately. But I am so happy to see August finally end.

And, by the way, as of August 26th, RILEY IS FINALLY E. COLI NEGATIVE!!

As in the last post, here are the Facebook updates...

Aug. 18th at 12:15 PM
Riley's test came back a *weak* positive... the Dr. thinks that we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel... I HOPE SO!!

August 24 at 6:09pm
NEGATIVE!!!!! :)

August 24 at 7:22pm
Finally... things can get back to normal! Yay!

August 25 at 6:37pm
GREAT NEWS... I just found out they ran the WRONG test on Riley's sample... so no wonder it was negative. And no word yet on Riley's other samples from Mon. & Tues. So, we're back to square one. Ughh!! Just hoping that Mon. & Tues. are negatives!!!

August 26 at 4:32pm
Well..... Mon. and Tues. are NEGATIVES!! (we made sure the test was for e. coli this time) Think I'm going to do a cartwheel! OK, maybe not, that might be dangerous... but I'm so glad we're finally done!! :)

August 27 at 11:33am
Riley's at Tammy's. It felt sooo good to be back on our old schedule! Thanks so much Maxie and everyone else who helped me get through it all. I honestly couldn't have done it without you! And I definitely think my patience "meter" has expanded in the last 6 weeks... guess that's what happens when you become a parent!

August 27 at 12:06pm
Riley was so excited to go back to Tammy's this morning. As soon as I got her out of her carseat, she pointed to Tammy's house and smiled! :)

And just like that, Riley's battle with e.coli was over.

It was a seemingly forever-long battle. From the onset of symptoms on July 15th to the final test confirmation on Aug 26th. Exactly 6 weeks. 4 days in the hospital. Numerous blood tests and doctor visits. Massive amounts of worrying. Finally over!

Though we are still being pulled in what seems like a 1000 directions, we are slowly but surely crossing them off the list now. I know it will be worth it all in the end, and it will make us stronger as individuals and as a family.

I will say I never want to go through something like that again, and I hope none of you ever have to.

With that being said, Goodbye August, and Goodbye E. Coli.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Please Don't Take My Sunshine Away

You are my sunshine.
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

A tear rolls down my face and hits the hospital bed where my baby girl is sleeping. I can hardly face the situation in front of me.

As I so vividly remember it, we'd been in the hospital for a day and a half, and as I sing my baby to sleep, I can't help but break down and cry a little. She has E. coli 0157:H7. And is showing symtoms for a particularly dangerous complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS.

It has been quite a battle. Though I know the very worst is over, and I finally have time to share the story, it still gives me chills to think how fast it all happened, and how close we were to losing her.

Below are comments as well as the Facebook messages I used to keep family and friends updated on Riley's condition:

Tammy, Riley's babysitter was going to be out Wed-Fri for vacation. After a backup babysitter fell through, I finally was able to get her into a church-based daycare called Christ Lutheran Children's Daycare Center in the town I work in.

I went by to fill out her info. and check it out. It seemed fine, people seemed caring. The kids seemed happy. Looked good to me.

So I took her there Wednesday morning. I checked on her at lunch, she was napping. I thought everything seemed just fine.

As I picked Riley up, one of the ladies told me that Riley had a great time, ate hotdogs for lunch, and had a good hour and a half nap. Oh, and that diarrhea had been going around their daycare, and to be aware of it. OK?

The next day, Riley stays with her cousin's at Aunt Amber's house. She has so many dirty diapers, that by lunch time, her bottom is completely broken out and burned from stomach acids. I called the nurse's line to ask for some sulfadiazine (burn) cream. It helps some, but she has probably 10 dirty diapers that day, WAY above normal.

At this point, I'm thinking GREAT, she has the bug going around. No big deal though, right? Just a couple of sick days, and she'll be done.

But instead, of tapering off after a day, it got worse. Much worse.

She went back to the Christ Lutheran daycare on Friday. I gave them instructions to use the burn cream, and that she probably had the bug. They didn't seem to flinch at all, nor did they alert me of any concerns when I picked her up at the end of the day. But that evening was strange. She was fussy and had several dirty diapers. I decided to take her to the walk-in clinic the next morning.

The next day, Saturday, while Daddy was gone to look at some farm equipment, Riley had dirty diapers nearly every hour. They were so painful for her. She would be playing, walking around, and just being herself, when all of a sudden, she would just stop, dead in her tracks, clench up, and bend her knees and fall over to the ground, screaming and writhing in pain. The awful stomach cramps would last a couple of minutes.

This was the case all day long. I took her in to the dr. that morning to make sure everything was okay. The dr. was concerned that she had 10+ diapers/day and had a red throat, thinking she may have a bacterial infection such as E. coli or salmonella, etc. She wanted me to send in a sample for testing, but gave Riley a Rx of antacid to help with the stomach cramps.

Riley made it the rest of the day, but Sunday again got worse. Now she was having dirty diapers nearly every 15-30 minutes! It was a struggle to decide whether or not to take her to the ER, because I'll be the first to admit, sometimes I'm overprotective (well, all the time), but just as I made up my mind that I was FOR SURE going, we got a call from Dr. Webb (Riley's Dr.) with some scary news.

July 19 3:23 PM

We took her to the ER yesterday and found out she had a toxin in her system linked to E. coli. All of her bloodwork... which getting it was just awful... but her electrolytes, iron, white blood cell count, hemoglobin, etc. all came back normal! So, we got to go back home instead of to Tulsa or OKC!

Riley's doing better... for now. She has been having nasty stomach cramps and dirty diapers every 15-30 minutes since Saturday.

She ended up sleeping all night thank goodness, and has been doing much, much better today. We got a prescription for an antacid that still allows her body to flush out the toxin, but along with gas drops, make the stomach cramps less painful. Thanks so much for everyone's prayers. We still have to watch her carefully this week.

There is still a chance that she will have to go to the hospital. But so far, so good! Hope it stays this way!! :)

Unfortunately, we weren't so lucky. Riley kept up her progress until Tuesday, when she woke up and absolutely refused to eat or drink. I didn't know this, however, and since she had done so well on Monday with me, I had gone to work and Great-Grandma Janet stayed home with her. That evening, I tried to get her to eat/drink as much as possible, but I practically had to force it down. I knew we had a follow-up appt. the next day, so I rescheduled her afternoon appt. for the morning and took her in. Dr. Webb was concerned with Riley not eating/drinking, so she did a blood test. Riley was pretty dehydrated, had low electrolytes, and was anemic. Which are the first signs of HUS. Thanks to Dr. Webb's quick response, we caught it before it was too late.

That evening, July 21, we were sent to the ER at OU Children's hospital in OKC. After two blood tests, 2 IV ports, several blood pressure and temperature checks, IV fluids, and roughly 4 hours, we were told we were staying at least for the night and were admitted to room 812 about midnight.

July 22 at 10:52AM


July 22 at 7:38PM

She is finally sleeping. We've given her Tylenol to help her relax. All the blood tests are so awful... I can hardly imagine the fear and pain that she is going through right now. She gets so worked up and then wears herself out until she just konks out. Such a rough week. No more blood tests until the morning. I pray for a good night and good test results! Please let her get better!

I felt so helpless at this point. My little girl, who only a week ago was perfectly healthy and full of life, is now suffering from pains only she and God know. I can do nothing to help her. I didn't leave her side all day long. I don't think I could have if I tried. I was so sad. I tried to sing to her most as much as possible. She just didn't feel good and was understandably fussy all day...

Not to mention not having the use of one arm and one leg, which were rendered useless by splints covering up her IV's.

And blood pressure and temperature checks every two hours.

AND being woken up from a nap when it took 4 hours to finally fall asleep.

I swear I could've beaten the you-know-what out of one of those nurses...

July 23 at 4:47AM

She has E. coli and the risk of developing HUS which attacks her red blood cells and platlets and as a result... her kidneys.

July 23 at 4:53AM

We think it came from the new church-based daycare she attended two days last week. they tolf me diarrhea was going around. A kid came in the same day we got sent to OK with it also. I just hope there aren't any more. The health dept. is doing an investigation. Hopefully they can nail down the source.

July 23 at 5:40AM

Thank you so much to everyone. It really makes us feel like we aren't going through this alone. We're all so lucky to have all the support and love from you all.

July 23 at 8:46PM

Her results today were somewhat better. Hemoglobin/red blood cells were higher but platlets were lower. Her kidneys tested normal... so overall... pretty good :) She was puffed up like a balloon from all of IV fluids so they turned that off to alievate the swelling and see if she would drink some on her own.

She ended up having a really good day. Angela and Caylee visited us and brought a fun wooden fishing game and balloons. Also played with Grammie & Pop. She'll have another blood test first thing tomorrow. Praying that everything is good!!!!!

She had a better day today... finally! Though her platelets were lower, her red blood cells came up, which were getting dangerously low, and would've required blood transfusions.

Some company to give her entertainment as well as Mommy and Daddy a break was just what we all needed. This was the tipping point of our week. Things just seemed to be so much better, her mood was better, she started eating/drinking better.

The only thing was, I started to feel a little sick... and had awful stomach cramps. I honestly thought it was just nerves, however, it wasn't too coincidental since Riley had E. coli. So, I went to Presbyterian hospital, which is connected to OU Children's. I checked into the ER, got some IV fluids to rehydrate, some morphine for the pain, and submitted a sample to test for E. coli.

The sample came back positive. The good news is that I was able to be treated with antibiotics. 1 week of treatment was all I had to put up with. It really wasn't any big deal for me, thank goodness.

July 24 at 6:14AM

Just sent off more bloodwork. She had such a good day yesterday and drank and ate so well :) She even had 12 oz. of milk just before bedtime... which is a lot for Riley even when she is feeling well! She had more milk after her blood was drawn but is now sleeping. I'm praying this test turns out good!

That night I had slept so hard, after 2 days of virtually little to no sleep. I woke up of course when the nurses came in to draw blood, but I almost instantly fell asleep again afterwards.

Apparently I slept straight through the doctor coming in to tell us the results of Riley's blood test.

I finally woke when Ryan nudged me saying, Krissy, guess what?!


July 24 at 8:38AM

Her bloodwork was good!! Everything was going back to normal!! We are going home today!!!!! Thanks everyone for your prayers!

July 24 at 3:57PM

Heading home!! =)

July 24 at 9:03pm

She's doing just great. Glad to be able to run and play again! Ate and drank good this evening... and acted like her old self :) Sleeping now. Hope she has a good night!

July 25 at 9:28PM

I am so thankful for great friends & family. For Riley's health. For a freshly sanitized house thanks to Mom & Dad & Grandma Janet. For a wonderful supper thanks to a great friend Linda. And for all of the prayers, texts messages, and gifts that carried us through this long tough week!
Since I got infected also, I stayed home with Riley the next week.

My gosh, she was sooo happy. It was like she missed being able to play so much she would never take it for granted again. We took wagon rides every morning.

July 31 at 11:37PM

It has been one week since Riley was discharged from the hospital... so hard to believe... and so glad she's going to be ok! Sad to miss all of our family & friends tonight at the wedding. We just weren't sure if she was still contagious and didn't want any other babies getting sick! Congrats to Sara & Brandon!

I was able to go back to work the next week. Great Grandma stayed home with Riley for us. Then began the LONG process of flushing the bacteria and toxins out of her system. I started submitting stool samples to the health department.

Bad Idea.

Unless you don't have a job and are able to watch your kids at home. And don't care about going out in public. Or seeing family and friends. You know, have a life?

It was 8 days before I got the results on her stool sample. 8 days.

August 4 at 11:14PM

Found out today the sample of Riley's I sent in last Tues tested positive again for e. coli. She's not in danger but her system is still trying to fight it off completely. So we're starting over and taking more samples in for testing... have to have 2 negatives before she goes back to daycare...

This time, I talked to Riley's pediatrician and sent the next sample to the Warren clinic's lab.

THE. NEXT. DAY. I learned the results. 1 point for timeliness, 1 deduction for end result. The test was still positive. Oh well, it's not their fault, and Riley still feels well!

August 6 at 10:15PM

Still testing positive for e. coli. She is still doing really good and acts happy like her old self :) But we'll have to keep testing until we get a couple negatives... hope to get them soon!

August 6 at 10:18PM

Thanks everyone for your prayers!

She's doing well. Really, you couldn't tell that there was anything wrong with her at all... she's eating and drinking well again and is happy as can be... but until she gets it all out of her system, she has to stay home :( And thank goodness, I sure don't want anyone to go through what we did in the hospital.

August 8 at 9:39PM

Riley's red blood cells and platlets are back to normal levels! She is still a little anemic, but it's not at a dangerous level. But, Riley's two tests from last Fri & Sat came back positive for e. coli. My Grandma has been staying with her at everyday. Thank goodness for family and friends... but I am so ready for things to be back to normal again!!

August 12 at 6:50PM

It has been 3 weeks since coming home from OU Children's and Riley STILL has e. coli. We are testing her immunoglobulin levels today to see if she has an immune system deficiency. If so, a series of gamma globulin shots should take care of the problem! I hope so!!!

August 13 at 10:15AM

Riley's immunoglobulin levels tested normal... so we're just going to keep sending in samples and hope they test negative soon!

So, things could be worse, and we are so thankful that her immune system is healthy. (I knew nursing for 10 months would be worthwhile!) I am just bumfuzzled as to why it is still in her system, and am scared of the damage it may be doing. I just pray it will all be over soon. Till then, we'll keep testing...


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Riley's Wrap-Up at 1 Year!

I realize Riley turns 13 months tomorrow, and I am just now finishing her 12 month posts! But there was so much going on at work, home, and with Riley. Sometime I might get caught up with all that has transpired. But for now, here is the last of Riley's 12 Month updates!

Riley measured in at 20 lbs, 7 oz and was 28.75 in long! Both measurements ranked in the 50th percentile, so it looks like she's right on track! On a less happier note, the vaccination shots and tests they run at 12 month check up are nothing short of horrid. 5 shots and a blood test. I won't go into details on how they get the sample... I'll just say this: It's awful! Just thinking about it gives me the Eeeby- Jeebies.


OK... Back to Riley's Wrap-Up!

What Riley is doing at 1 Year Old:
  • No longer walking, but running everywhere. Mommy and Daddy are always saying “Slow Down!” and "Be Careful!

  • Is also a little clumsier. Because of how fast you go! So, we also *lovingly* call you “Weeble Wobbles!”

  • Has 4 teeth, and 2 more on top coming through!

  • Loves rolling her tongue- when she's happy, but mostly when she's mad too! It is by far the funniest and most unique thing she does.

  • Definitely has her momma’s appetite…and is a bottomless pit!

  • Recently, you've tried and loved canteloupe, strawberries, kiwi, tomatoes, and peaches! You definitely love your fruit!!!

  • Drinks whole milk *YAY!* No more buying formula!!!

  • Sometimes tries to tickle Mommy or Daddy

  • Sometimes waves hi and bye-bye

  • Sometimes points to what she wants

  • Is really close to her *true* first words... You can tell she's thinking really hard about, but just can't quite spit it out yet! Mommy's always telling you to "Say this" or "Say that".

  • Loves to play patty cake

  • Is a dare devil.... the faster we go down the driveway in the wagon, the higher we push the swing.... the better! Riley loves a thrill, and so do Mommy and Daddy!

  • Loves to "Dance Riley, Dance!" She will bend her knees and dance to the songs Daddy sings her!!

  • Is still a Momma's girl. Though you are Tammy's girl too. And sometimes you aren't sure who is really #1. The days when Tammy is #1 and Mommy has to pry you from Tammy aren't much fun. Though the days when Mommy leaves you at Tammy's crying aren't great either. Thankfully there really aren't too many of either of these!!

  • Still wears 12-18 month clothes, though I've kind of gone back to size 3 diapers. They are cheaper per diaper and we haven't had a problem with leaks. :) The last time, we'd just ran out of size 3 and size 4 is what I had in the closet, so that is what we used, but until we run into problems with leaks, I'm sticking with the size 3!

  • Sometimes gives Mommy or Daddy kisses! Daddy especially loves this :)
  • Sometimes shakes her head "Yes!" or "No!" She is usually just imitating Mommy or Daddy though!

  • Likes to take Mommy or Daddy's (or sometimes both!) finger and lead (or yank!) us around! Then when she's taken us to the kitchen, to a toy she wants, or some other random place, she pulls us down to sit with her or pick her up! It is hilarious!

  • Is climbing on everything!

  • LOVES to make a mess!
Riley also had her first surgery the week after her birthday. She had tubes put in to help drain the fluid in her ears and hopefully prevent additional ear infections. The surgery went well, and we just had her checkup this week, and everything looked great!


Right After Sugery

Later that Day

Thankfully, she acted as if though she was having a normal day. We hope we don't have any more doctor visits for colds & ear infections this year! So far, so good!

This will be my last post for Riley's 1st Year. I wanted so badly to have a keepsake of all these wonderful memories. And I think I have found one at Feed Fabrik! I am so excited to have a book of Riley's first year. I hope Riley will appreciate it as she grows up, and can look back on all of the good times! I will let you all know how it turned out and will write a review!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Riley's 1st Birthday Party!

What a week we had!

Planning, cleaning, shopping, cleaning, plans changing, more planning, cleaning, scrambling, shopping, cleaning.

Did I mention cleaning? And plans changing?

We got so much rain the first part of June = the water level of the lake rose too high for the flood gates to keep up = no swim beach = move the party to our house = lots and lots of cleaning.

I can still feel the terrifying shake I had when I first realized that was my best alternative. We could have it out at my parent's shed, but we'd only have campers with air conditioning, and with 95+ degree weather you need either air conditioning or a large nearby water source to cool off in.
And not that my house is a pig sty, but I guess I am just one of those crazy people who has to have a neat, organized, clean house (dusted, vacuumed, floors mopped, windows cleaned, flowers planted) when 5+ people come over. Obviously, since I had a baby and don't have time to clean like that, we just haven't had company in over a year.

Anyway... after changing plans and cleaning non stop for 3 days, we ended up having a wonderful birthday celebration week.

We kicked off her birthday festivities on Thursday, when Riley came to work with me for breakfast bagels and doughnuts!

My coworker and friend, Mike (or we call him Gabby), brought the Panera Bread bagels and Daylight doughnuts. YUM!

He is going to be an excellent Pa-Pa someday and will spoil his little grandbabies rotten!

I *carefully* selected a French Toast bagel that was sugary and cinnamony and just yummy delicious and split it with her.

She LOVED it!

Then on Friday, Grammie came to help me finish cleaning and set up for the party!

I *tried* not to go overboard... it is just her first birthday, and I know she won't remember it. I wanted to do something special for her though. Have family and friends over, etc....

What surprised me, and especially since I didn't notice until after I was all done, was that I had single-handedly selected decorations for a 1st birthday party that I had swore I never would.

It was PINK.


Somebody crashed a PINK truck at our house.

And then threw up some more PINK.

But I loved it.

It was exactly what I wanted. Simple. Girly. Riley.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

It’s confirmation that motherhood really does turn us into a person that we might have mocked before we had kids of our own.

Saturday morning, we woke up to a very happy girl! ...and a clean house :)

We ate hamburgers & hotdogs, sang Happy Birthday to lil' miss, ate cupcakes and homemade strawberry icecream. There were a few awkward moments trying to open presents... which, to me anyway, were just hilarious.

Riley needed some help, so Kendyl (Chris & Candace's daughter) was opening presents for her. All of a sudden, Riley didn't want any more help, and let us all know just how she felt with a blood curdling, window breaking, nails-on-the-chalkboard scream. The scream itself was not funny at all. It was her personality that was funny. And it was because I hadn't seen this side of it before.

She is revealing more and more of herself every day. Her quirks and such. She's had a few tantrums so far, and I'm doing my best to teach her how to act and control her emotions...praising the good, scolding her on the bad, getting her to tell/show me what she wants before she has a meltdown.

No, she isn't having a so-called "episode" in this pic, it is merely an accident that as she was moving my camera (on auto) happened to get her in focus while the background was blurred.

Anyway, I guess here's another opportunity to teach lil miss, because she needs to learn the concept of sharing.

We've got a loooong road ahead of us, I can already tell.

Riley got some pretty cool gifts.

Clothes, a RILEY bracelet, RILEY wall letters, a tea set, a hot pink bean bag, buckets & shovels, books & toys, a baby doll stroller, Little Tikes shopping cart, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, and a Radio Flyer wagon.

All in all, I'd say she did pretty darn good for turning 1. :)

She LOVES her new toys. Especially the wagon and cozy coupe.

This last one is my new favorite pic of her. Just love this face!!!!!

The rest of the day, we swam in the kiddie pools with cousins, Kelton, Liberty, & Kinsey.

It was fun.

But HOT.

Thankfully, it was cool in the shade under our tree, the kids joined us and gave Riley a little swing-time...

For Father's Day, Riley gave Daddy a personalized picture frame that says "My Daddy" and some ways to describe him: teaser, hug-giver, teacher, hero, and at the bottom, it says "Love Riley Kate".

I had this picture in it,

But Ryan wanted this one (I didn't know it was his favorie)... so we made a little change.

I'm just glad he has a picture of her for his desk at work :)

A picture of her can make any sour day turn sweet in an instant.

Since it was Father's Day, Ryan left to go farm, and since Aunt Shawnda and cousin Liberty were in town, and also because Grandma Maxie was cooking dinner *YUM!*, we also went to Lamont.

After eating, playing, taking a long nap, and playing some more, we headed back home to get ready for the next week.

But not after playing some more!

Remember that I said she is always revealing more and more of her quirky personality?

Well, for some reason, she really wanted to sit in her bumbo that evening... which is odd, because she would hardly sit in it for more than 10 sec at any given time before. And certainly never showed any interest in it...

But this time, she walked over to it, and was trying to pick it up, so I got it and put it in the middle of the room, put pillows all around, and grabbed her a basket of toys to pull through.

She played there for an hour.


I couldn't believe it!!

I still can't!

But it's true!

It's like she was thanking me for understanding her and doing exactly what she wanted.

Which doesn't happen very often either.

She also had fun eating some cottage cheese and practicing with a spoon and bowl.

See? I'm getting better at serving her non-staining foods :)

Of course, she still managed to make a mess.

But had fun doing it.

Happy 1st Birthday Riley-bug.

This was one of my most fun days with you yet. I look forward to next year and all the years to come.

I love you sweet pea.