Sunday, December 30, 2012

Catching up. I'm serious this time.

I hate that I feel like too much of the time I have become that "poor me, woe is me, I'm so tired" person...especially when attempting so hard with my children-less friends to act like "really, it's not that different, I can make it all happen still." And amazing amazing Robby hears the brunt of it, and always at the right times (which is not often, but I love that he doesn't baby me) brings it home with the right words or actions.

I don't even know where that first paragraph came from. I thought I sat down to simply spew out paragraphs of Riley memories that might bore anyone but my family to death. I don't really set New Years resolutions, but I really want (and need) to just sit back and relax more. Just simplify. But one of the things I really really want to do more of is keep up to date on this blog. It's those tiny moments that I will look back and crack up at. Doing it when the moment has passed, catching up, trying to recapture memories just doesn't do justice to my future rock-climbing, comedian of a little girl.

So you may decide to stop reading at this point, because this is now when I am just going to eject an entourage of memories of a toddler that I find to be the most fascinating, hilarious, adorable, tiniest person around. Then again, with that list of adjectives, it might just entice you to keep reading.

Just look at her. She pointed to her helmet today, said "hat," and just wandered around the front yard for a few minutes wearing it. 

Since I haven't posted anything since her birthday, I have 4 months worth of catching up to do. If you have or have had a kid this age, you realized that a lot happens in those 4 months. Here goes:

She is growing according to her growth curve just perfectly, but she still doesn't cease to bring comments of how petite she is for her age. At this last 15 month visit, the doctor said she's looking like she's heading towards 5'2. So much for my hopes that she'll get some height from the Fleisher side and be able to reach things for me when Robby's not home. 

She loves babies. Loves. A wonderful woman, Cindy, who watches her often, bought her her first baby doll and it has become Riley's favorite toy. All day long she wanders around the house saying "baby." She loves to feed, kiss, and take care of Baby. And now at any other real-life baby or baby in a picture she will point and so proudly say "baby," then smile or giggle. 

She is way more extroverted than Robby or myself. She will sometimes take in a new crowd or new surroundings with caution and literally freeze when I put her down for a minute. She doesn't reach back up and say "up" or "mama," she just stops and stares at everything. Then after the moment passes, she'll approach everyone as friends. 

In this last month, she climbs. She wedges her little fingers into tiny places, pushes stools towards chairs, stands on things with wheels...she's fearless. 

As of this week, she has 5 teeth. She got her bottom front tooth first, followed by her upper lateral teeth. Somehow the little gummer could probably chew a filet without a problem. I don't know how she chews like she does. 

She went from a few steps to walking without a problem just after Halloween. 

She took another trip (this time within the 50 states) to Maui. With our full-time work schedules, we packed in a quick 5 day trip with the rest of the Booth family. She did pretty good...but man, Spain was so much easier being that she was less active. If you don't have children yet and are considering maintaining your international traveling after having a child or two, then it is much easier when they can just nestle right into a little carrier all day long without a care in the world.

She has the waviest hair, that always has a little flipped up curl around the back of her head. It's lightening up quite a bit. Her eyes are staying blue, but depending on what she's wearing even can look a little green. 

In the morning time she is hungry all of the time. She points at her high chair and says "more" every hour, from about 5:30 to 10:30. Then after that is very picky and doesn't eat much. And yes, 5:30 every day. Not only does she not sleep through the night. She is also up every day at 5:00 am. Yes, 5:00 am. If you don't want to do the math, I will do it for you. She is 16 months old. In my last trimester of pregnancy I woke up every night a few times, almost always taking a bath around 2 am as a last ditch effort to sleep. I slept poorly towards the end of my pregnancy. By my calculation, I have been living a chronically-sleep-deprived life, literally almost every night now, for over a year and a half. See that, there's the "poor me" coming out. But don't I deserve it just a little? 

Her favorite things to play with over the last few months have been:
A little boys yellow toy truck that was accidentally left at our house at her birthday party.
Her toy car.
Her baby doll.
A vintage suitcase she got as a birthday gift.
Cycling and Nalgene water bottles and their lids. 

Things she does that are simple but light me up each time:
Points up at the sky at airplanes and helicopters. She always hears them before I do.
Points to her belly, nose, head, ears on command (which she could do first in Spanish, thanks to our amazing Benilde that watches once a week).
Blows on food and says "hot."
Climbs into the shower any chance she gets, whether it's on or off. 
Blows kisses and gives kisses. When she gives them she makes a "mmmaah" kissing sound. 
Knocks on the laundry door (where our dog Heinz resides) and says "knock knock" when she wants to play with him. Poor Heinz, he is so patient with her as she chases him around trying to put socks and necklaces on him and scaring him with every loud toy possible. 
Waves at everyone and says "hi," whether or not they are looking at her. We'll wander through stores as she rides in the shopping cart (possibly making other parents disgruntled at my lack of safety measures with shopping cart rules) and hi, hi, hi, wave, wave, wave to everyone. 

Words and sounds she makes (there are more, but these are the consistent ones): 
Woof-woof (she loves dogs, probably tied with how much she loves babies)
Agua (which stands for water, milk, liquids, foods, or even nothing at all...all day long she walks around "agua, agua, agua.." half the time not making any sense)
All done (always accompanied by aggressive waves of her hands, modified sign language)
Ooh-Ooh, Ah-Ah like a monkey
Nigh, nigh (though she sleeps terribly, thanks to the help of family coming over and putting her to bed if we both are working, she at least goes to bed easily now, and will sometimes even walk into her room and say nigh nigh and that's it)

Things she loves at Grandma and Grandpas house:
Her swing
Her red mini rocking chair
Taking the train (which is their wheeling office chair that thumps like a train over the hard wood) and getting tickets (high fives) at all the stations (wherever anyone is sitting watching).
Pointing at Grandma Carol's roosters and everyone saying Cock-a-doodle-do!
Retrieving the picture frame of Holly and Jose's dogs and bringing it out to show everyone and say doggy. 

Over the last 4 months we have had plenty of joy from visiting the zoo and beach often, having wonderful friends from Boston, Alaska, and the Bay area visit, model some silly clothes for friends Etsy and photography businesses, go to the Colorado River, hike, take Heinz on plenty of walks, and of course tons of time with Tio, Tia, Grandma and Grandpa. Though this girl makes me very very tired, she also makes my life perfect. 

The first picture is a nice little dinner that Robby took me to for my birthday to a restaurant in La Jolla that reminds of the Greek Islands. The next is how I spent my 32nd birthday, including my hiking carrier from Robby and Riley. The rest are pretty self-explanatory. 


Packed for Hawaii

Kinda creepy huh?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Woof Woof. Remembering Buddy.

On September 18th (sadly, the day before my birthday), we had to say goodbye to our first family dog Buddy. For those of you who knew him well, he also went by the name Carl. When Robby was a little boy he was introduced to the books "Carl" about a Rottweiler that acted as a babysitter when the mother of the baby went out for tea with friends or on errands. This sparked a need in Robby to always own a Rottie. We rescued Buddy from the Humane Society 4 years ago. His paperwork wasn't too clear, but we think he was around 1 year when we adopted him. Shortly after, we adopted Heinz (another Rottweiler), mostly for Buddy's entertainment. He was from a rescue agency in San Bernadino. Buddy was incredibly loyal, almost too smart for his own good at times. He was so gentle around kids. He would go up to them, turn his body, and give them an invisible 1 inch perimeter of space, allowing them to pet him, never bumping them over. Buddy would play such hilarious mental games with Heinz. I felt so safe with Buddy. He also protected the air space of our yard, which could get very annoying, especially when Blimps would circle around SDSU. He barked at any planes or helicopters that he believed might be too low. He was small for a Rottweiler, but made up for it by acting so tough, at least with the mailman.

Early in the morning on the 18th, he had his breakfast and 5 minutes later I heard a scuffle in the canyon. Long story short - Buddy had killed a skunk and somehow in the debacle had injured his spine at the cervical level. Were not sure if it happened when running down towards the canyon, interacting with the skunk, or what. Robby's dad was very helpful in taking him to the pet ER while I had to go to work. Robby was already at work. There was a possibility that surgical intervention may have allowed him to walk, but his quality of life may have been one with chronic pain. He definitely wouldn't have the agility and playfulness that characterized him so well. I could go into more details, but will leave it at this. It was a solemn few days and felt very odd without him around once we had made our best decision to say good bye.

Heinz, whom we joke about as not being so bright, truly seems to be just fine without Buddy. He has actually mellowed out quite a bit without Buddy egging him on. Heinz is very respectful and gentle around Riley.

We are so thankful for the memories and the safety that Buddy provided. We gave Buddy a good home and will always miss him.

(Buddy is the smaller of the two)


 Lots of trips to the Colorado River

 Checking out the parrots in the trees

 He loved snow.

 Camping in Sedona

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Birthday Girl

With the help of so many friends and family we worked for months to add in some grass to our yard, with the goal of completion being Riley's birthday party. Mama needs more outdoor space for survival since there aren't any parks nearby. Who knew that Robby is also a structural engineer, contractor and landscaper? It's amazing what owning a house does to a person's resume. I was so excited to celebrate Riley's first birthday with an outdoor open-house style party. Our plans were for it to involve some beer and sangria and be more of an adult 'We survived the first year' sort of get together. Instead, it ended up as a - we survived cramming 40+ adults and children all at once in our small but air-conditioned home, since it turned out to be the hottest day of the year in San Diego. It wasn't only the hottest day of the year, but the hottest day in San Diego for the last 24 years. It hadn't been 107 degrees in our city since 1988. But what mattered the most is that Riley had fun. I can never say it enough...but we are so overjoyed by the generosity of presents, relationships, love, and just pure fun we continuously have in our lives. Happy Birthday Riley, love you baby! And THANK YOU Robby for my grass. It makes me so happy. So so so happy. 

On her actual birthday, Robby was working, so Riley and I spent time hanging out around the house and with our good friends at the beach. 

When you ask her how old she is, she puts her finger up.

 It is my absolute favorite thing in the whole wide world when she climbs on me. 

Thanks for spending the day with us Ozzy and Erin. We already have so many good memories with you guys.