Sunday, September 27, 2009

Easy as 1 2 3

I did miss a few Wordless Wednesday's (why I just can't imagine). But a few things have snuck up on me that I just had to share...

First, and for the record, this girl does know how to use a spoon, but when she is "famished" which happens every couple of days, she casts the spoon aside, and just shovels it in. Chili apparently is one of her favorites. There was an alternate picture where she literally had two fistfuls of chili going in. I'm hoping she can get this under control before college.
Second, just look at this boy. Little Daddy is turning into quite the little charmer, and while it is clear from this photo that he is in great need of a hair cut. He is quite welcoming and funny. Today at church he said hello to everyone and gave high fives to his teachers and classmates. So adorable. Perhaps the funniest part of our whole day though was the call to worship which began with something about coming "with empty stomachs and hearts". Little Daddy called out "STOMACHS??!!" I could hardly stifle my laughter, and caught The Mr.'s eye as he swallowed a laugh that left his shoulders rocking.

Third, there was this "moment" during worship today that I thought I could potentially simultaneously burst from joy and sob in sadness.. ( I know I'm terribly dramatic). We begin the worship hour taking up an entire row... The Mr. and I bookending the children who are "seated" between us in their various activities: Lil Bit in constant state of near escape, Cubby near eruption (physical or vocal), Miss H enthralled with the children's bulletin, Little Daddy, near giggles, but following the children's minute, it is just the Mr. and I and Lil Bit (although if her naughtiness persists... away to the nursery I say) and suddenly there was this gap of an entire pew. I slid over, (well picked my way cautiously around the rubble). As I leaned in to Husband and baby, I cast my eyes over the space that had previously been so full, and found it's emptiness ... I'm not sure which word to put here, stark? vast? stoic? impending?
The absence of the giggles, wiggles, questions and general "rumpus" the wildness I seek quiet time from each day, suddenly seemed well, mourn-able. Isn't that the silliest thing... Of course the absence of this circus did allow me to hear the sermon, which was a welcome change from the summer months. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." The lesson focused on this being a call to make peace by building relationships and having dialogue, and that is how those who do this will be called the children of God, not those who simply love peace, or keep peace, but those who through faithful action work to make it. A powerful lesson in this house as we battle the self focused appetites of children.

Finally, as I exited the church with Little Daddy's hand in mine, his backpack of diversion strapped to his back, and a neat little necklace of drinking straws around his neck, he sang out into a glorious noon that had melted away an overcast morning, "This is the day, that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it..." I suppose I will have to mourn how fast this year has gone another time.. because who can resist such a glorious command.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Little Bit about Lil Bit

Guess who's birthday is coming?

That's right, our littlest bit will hit the big number ONE birthday, ushering in a whole new era in the Riley household. A busier era for sure, (although that is hard to imagine). She is now walking, and though you wouldn't know it from reading this blog, has been since August 25. Just in the last two weeks she has completely switched over and walking is now her mode of mischief, and mischief, let me tell you, abounds in this one. Although, it's hard to judge naughtiness when it comes in such an adorable little package, when that curly head comes toward you atop that little waddling bean body, trust me, it's a tough thing to keep a straight face.

She currently has just four teeth, although just today she tried to knock two of them out, by toppling a chair directly onto her face. Did I mention she has very advanced naughtiness, and climbing abilities?

The Mr. and I have also been discussing recently if it is possible she could be in some part foreign, because she "talks" all day long, gesticulating wildly with her arms and using her eyebrows for emphasis. But I tell you, I her own mother, cannot make out a word she says. Honestly, she says Dada quite clearly, and Mama only under duress, there is a little "dis and dat" but mostly I'll tell you the girl has marbles in her mouth.

Actually, she has not yet had marbles in her mouth, although she did nearly choke on a button last Tuesday. Her favorite thing to put her mouth seems to be pencil erasers, followed closely by crayon tips and felt tip marker points. She can spot an unattended pencil from across the playroom, and makes the most horrendous shriek I have ever heard, when you try to remove them from her iron grasp.

She has a keen interest in books, (of course) and has just this week become interested in nesting objects. She has tried unsuccessfully multiple times to stack blocks, but cannot get past three. She loves music, but her favorite pastime is whapping whoever is nearest on the head with cylindrical objects (drumsticks, the afore mentioned pencils, and spools of thread) repeatedly. She also loves pulling Miss H's luxurious hair, and has twice removed her own diaper.

She is far and away the loudest of all the children, and yet somehow, goes completely solemn before answering your yes/no question with a slow and deliberate nod.
She's been able to nod yes for a month and half now. We have been tailgating and attending the Wake Games, which she seems to enjoy. (She did go to her first one when she was five days old, so who can blame her). Her clapping and "Go Deacs" are coming along quite nicely, although, they've not given us too much to cheer about.

So, I still can't believe how fast this year has gone. One year ago she was just a huge lump in my belly, a writhing mound under which I could lose sight of Little Daddy, and my feet. And now here she is, walking and talking (in Chinese no less!) and whapping us on the head. Life as we know it, is amazing, and at every turn a huge surprise (and sometimes a whap on the noggin!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sweets for the Sweet

In a tradition I learned from my mother, I do try to make the kids cakes each year. The first year I did buy Miss H and Cubby's because they couldn't express what kind they would have liked, but since that point I have worked hard to make a cake to their liking. Sometimes it is difficult, for her third birthday Miss H asked for a pony cake, and when I stuck a My Little Pony on top of an ordinary cake she was disappointed saying, "Um actually Mom I wanted the cake to turn into a pony." So I have had to up my game so to speak for this crowd. I do love letting them pick, and they have yet to pick something that I would have chosen for them. It is a nice time for me as a mother to work on this project for each of them, and to be able to take the time to reflect on their year and pray for them specifically. My mother's heart, it seems is just teeming with good wishes for them, and working on something to be done to their specifications opens my heart up to their own desires.

Cubby wanted a Wake Forest football helmut (a last minute change of heart) up until last week a baseball cake was a sure thing. It was Funfetti on the inside, which I still think might be the most delicious cake out there.

seriously this kid is a goofball!

Miss H initially said a beautiful butterfly (which I think I am going to do for Lil Bit's birthday), that would look like her Monarch butterfly Riley the second. At the AC MOORE she switched to a pink and purple variety and then finally, a simple, festive, fondant flower covered cake. It was two layers with a raspberry and vanilla creme filling. And looked great on the cake stand the Mr. and I received as a wedding gift.
(you can really see the fat lip she got from kissing that tree in this pic, at least the tooth came back down)

Finally Five!

It is here, (finally if you ask Miss H and Cubby) they are five!! And quite an action packed day they had. It began with a bit of a protest from Little Daddy, who stated "I didn't take all my sleeps!! as we loaded up for a kids Triathlon. Yes, that is the truth, Miss H and Cubby opted to compete in a triathlon to start their day.

I cannot even convey to you the surprise, mild trepidation and excitement I had whirling around in me, would I be able to set aside my competitive nature and support them in this endeavor, or would I become frustrated. Would they be able to stay the course, even if they were not winning? Would Miss H remember to use the brakes?!!!
Well check out these mini-winners!

I know!! They did it. I am in a constant state of amazement at what these people can do, and do with enthusiasm and good spirit. They will both tell you it was very fun, (and I think it was fun too!) Cubby will mention that he finished in front of Miss H because she took a wrong turn right before the finish. Miss H will tell you that she did a great job and used the brakes. Following the Tri we rushed home to finish decorating cakes and open presents. On the way, Cubby was all a flutter about opening some presents. Miss H calmly called out, "Well I already got two presents. A new bike and a big bonk from a tree." I giggled a little at that one, because she literally flew over her handlebars and kissed a tree. Which is why she was so proud of remembering to use the brakes.

While lunch was cooking we let the kids open some presents. Here they are opening their Fall looks from Mimi Viv! By the way Mimi Viv, we are in love with that sweater dress!! She already asked to wear it today, and I had to explain it was a little too hot still.

Here they are opening a mysterious package from Auntie Rosie and Papa Mike...

Which contained their hearts desires... Notice that Little Daddy is just as excited as the birthday kids!

and also the best present ever..

Here Cubby opens the Pirate ship that he'd been waiting his whole life for!! The Mr. and I both loved Legos as children and we are very excited that Cubby enjoys them so. I did have to give the Mr. a stern lecture because he was hogging all the assembly for himself instead of allowing Cubby to do it himself.