Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Prayer Requests

I've been praying for Riley from the minute I knew I was pregnant, and actually... I was praying long before then. When Riley was born I found myself praying for her more often, praying little things, and big. From sleeping well to knowing Jesus in the future. While in the process of praying for Riley more, I've found myself praying for others more often as well. Simple things like praying their day goes well, that they pass tests, do well in work... so forth. I've really been enjoying it plus that's more time with God!

I think its important to pray. I also think its important to pray for others. It doesn't take long, just a simple prayer asking God to bless someone and give them strength. If you pray and even if you don't, please offer up one for my family and I:) And if you have any prayer requests you would like us to pray please let me know! Even if its just a quick prayer that you have a good day at work or get some sleep, Leif and I will be more than happy to pray for you and your family.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eggs & lights

Just a quick silly post:)

First I made these amazing eggs today with bell peppers and cheese. So good!

And second we got these amazing lights for our apartment. I love them. Leif picked them out. As he does with mostly everything we have in our home... They're great.

I love how they just hang there, wires and bulbs exposed. Its so colorful and quirky.
I love quirky. I was afraid the decorating was becoming a bit too Pottery Barn-ish, and the lights totally tone that down. Yes. Win.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The joys of motherhood.

We just discovered that Riley can sit up on her own. Not for very long before falling forward or sideways, but she can do it. Tonight she was doing it for a good amount of time. When she falls forward she'll usually pushes herself up, so I decided I wanted to get a picture of this. Of course the time I decide to take a picture she decides to fall backwards. Fast. Then there is this loud noise, her head hitting the floor, and I drop the camera and I just stop breathing. Leif was putting up lights and grabs Riley right away. She doesn't breath for awhile but then she does and lets out a loud scream and cry. I didn't know how to react. I just sat there and then I just started sobbing, really hard. Leif was trying to comfort Riley when he realized he needed to comfort me as well. Riley calmed down after a few minutes, smiling and laughing, but I couldn't stop crying. I felt like a terrible mother. I still do a bit. Leif suggested I call my mom for some advice, I did. My mom made me feel better and reminded me that children fall sometimes. Its unavoidable. I know this, but I figured it wouldn't happen until maybe she started walking?

I know now that things like this happen:) I hope it doesn't happen again for awhile, but when it does I'm pretty sure I won't have a panic attack like I did tonight!


I need to collect more recipes. Where do you all find your recipes? What are your favorite recipes? What are some quick and easy things I can do? Tips, advice, suggestions? My mom gave me this amazing Better Homes and Gardens Recipe book which I love, but I want to collect some other recipes.

So, please share:)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

An apology

So I realized that in that last post I sounded like all other parents that annoy me. I guess its just the parent in me coming out:)

I'm sorry I described every little detail about everything Riley is doing these days. I know you're not interested and when I read back on it I'm not that interested. I just sound like every other annoying mother! Haha. For the most part I wrote that for family and friends that aren't close or around. But I think it was a bit much. I promise the next update won't be like that.

I came to this realization that I don't want to be that mother that is always bragging and being obnoxious. I always get turned off to people when they are like that. I am proud of Riley but I don't want to it to come across like I think she's better than anyone elses babies and that I have nothing else to talk about. I hate people like that. I don't want to be like that in any way. I have a lot more to talk about! I hate when people just want to talk about their children. That gets boring and old. I know hate is a strong word but its how I feel. Leif and I have tried to make sure this blog isn't just about Riley... I'm sorry if it has been. I know I get annoyed hearing about how big a baby is, or how much they're eating now, or what new thing they're doing. Eek. Makes me want to throw up. I hope people know there is more to us than Riley:) We just think she's so cute and funny we want to share! But I'll make sure it isn't an overload. Leif does a better job than I do at this. And most of you whose blogs I follow. Never too much, and never too little. Just right. I'm going to work on this!

So again I'm sorry:)

Instead of a picture of Riley, here is a picture of Leif!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

4 months!

Riley turned 4 months old yesterday! Happy 4 months baby girl:) Slow the growing down please!

Of course Riley has changed a lot since she turned 3 months old. She's been a lot more vocal which is fun. She has a lot to say:) And has been more than happy to share. She's also learned how to scream and squeal. The first time I heard Riley scream I panicked and thought something happened but no, she was just laying in her swing smiling and screaming. Anytime she gets excited, which is often, she'll express it with a scream or squeal. Very high ones at that. But I love it, because they're always accompanied by the biggest smiles. Every month Riley's personality becomes more evident. I think every month I realize "she's definitely my daughter ". Our personalities are SO similar. While she's a happy calm baby, she always is a demanding one who can get frustrated easily. Food must be given on command and if it isn't she won't let you hear the end of it. As soon as she eats she is her pleasant self again. She hates that she can't walk or crawl. It causes so much frustration to her, so tummytime has to be done in intervals or else she'll end up pissed off because she's not moving forward.

We've also learned that Riley likes attention and likes to feel included when there are many people around. No longer can she sit in her bouncer content while mommy and daddy converse with others, no, she must be playing with us or talking to us and with us. She loves people and loves to smile at them. If you'll talk to her, she has a smile for you. Even strangers. We've also started Riley on solids. We started her a week early because she blows through formula and never seems to be full. She is loving the food, especially the sweet potatoes. I'm not sure how she feels about the peas. I'm not sure how I feel about them! They smell awful. I love the solid food. Feeding times are faster this way, and its a lot more fun for me to feed her while she's sitting up. We can talk that way:) I also like the fact that she is holding her own bottle. Free hands for mommy!

Riley is fitting into some of her 9 month clothing. Not a big shock. She grows like a weed. And eats like a little piggy. Thankfully her growing is even. She has her rolls in the right places but isn't a super fat baby. I mean, I can still hold her, so...She's the right height for her weight. We're guessing she's weighing in at about 17 pounds now. We'll find out next Friday when Riley goes in for her next round of shots. Pray that goes well, as well as the last ones! Riley has two teeth on her bottom gums that you can feel and see, thankfully, thankfully she hasn't been cranky or fussy because of this. I'm hoping it stays that way! Nap times are being fought but bedtimes are going well. Riley can go down awake and fall asleep on her own. That's a big accomplishment for Leif and I, at least we think so. Riley made it pretty easy though, not having to be rocked to sleep. For awhile she was sleeping through the night but being sick threw that off. We're slowly getting back to the 6am breakfast/wake up time. For now we're at 4/5am feedings. As long as I get a solid 4 hours I'm good to go.

I'm amazed at just how much Riley has changed and continues to change. I'm also amazed at how my love grows for her. Even when she's being a fussypants about her food, I find myself loving her more and more. She is such a blessing and blesses us everyday. We're very thankful to God!

*Wow, that was a long update. I guess a lot has changed since the last Riley update. Sweet. :) Hope you're all well and good! And I promise the next one won't be soooooo long.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I should be sleeping right now... Taking advantage of the fact that my daughter is sleeping through the night for the first time since she was sick. Sure I had to give her her paci, two times but still. She hasn't need to be fed yet. Does this mean she's going back to her old ways and that the cereal has worked? Lets hope so.

I can't sleep because I am so excited about the photos I took today! I want to edit them all right now! Leif ordered me a new lens and I got it today. It was a surprise:) I love my husband! I uploaded some of the pictures to my flickr, but I'm still in the process of editing them. I'm used to taking over a 100 pictures and only getting like a few good ones. But I'm pretty sure almost every picture I took today came out perfect.
I'm in love with this photo of Jaclyn. Favorite picture I took yesterday.

Also, I had a fun photoshoot with my little cousin Vadyn and I'm pretty impressed with the pictures. He was so cute, coming up with all the poses himself. I seriously just had to sit there and shoot. It was fun:)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Good Stuff.

Broken Social Scene is made up mostly of Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew. But they've had a few wonderful contributors like Jason Collett, Feist, Emily Haines and most of the members of Stars. They're also on the record label Arts & Crafts which most amazing canadian artists are on. Over the last three years both have released solo albums that are amazing. This is a video of Brendan's song Churches Under the Stairs which actually features Kevin Drew.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Choosing what's right. Not easy.

Life has become less than perfect in our home. Routines have been broken and we find ourselves, again, adjusting to something new. Sometimes that is embraced, while other times it is met with disdain and frustration. Like recently:) Although it would be easy to choose the road of grumbling and irritation, Leif and I want to choose the one that is a bit harder. Less traveled some would say.

Things haven't been easy around here. Its been starting to show, mostly in the arguments that have been happening between Leif and I over this past week. We've been taking our frustrations with the way things have been these past few weeks out on each other. Today we took time to just talk and be honest with each other. To look at what may be causing the strife. I love that when my husband and I have discussions, they never turn into the blame game. Its very open and we make sure we are truthful with each other. It's always encouraging instead of discouraging. Leif could take this time to tear me down, but he uses the time to build me up. And I hope I do the same for him. I left the discussion knowing what I needed to work and Leif left knowing what he needed to work on. No one was hurt or upset. Thank God:)

We haven't taken the time to talk with each other in the way that we used to and need to. Our main focus lately has been Riley, our apartment, making sure things are in order, work, school... There hasn't really been us-time. Even worse, there hasn't really been any God-time. At the end of our conversation we came to the conclusion that we need to continue to take the time to spend with just each other. Talking. Praying. We also need to take a lot more time to read the Word and pursue our Maker. That's what our marriage is founded on and without that we will not be able to make things work.

We are taking steps to make sure that the arguments happen less. I know we're never going to not argue, but we can make efforts to be a better spouse to each other. We can make sure our actions and our words are uplifting instead of negative. We don't have to take our frustration and anger out on each other. Its easy to do but its not the right thing to do:) I think that we both would rather do the right thing than the easier thing at this point. Our marriage is a way to honor God, not displease Him. Leif and I want everything we do to be something that brings honor and praise to God. A marriage is included in that.

While we have some work cut out for us, we're excited to be back on track. I'm blessed to have the husband I have. I don't like that I take him for granted sometimes... I want to cherish and love him everyday, even on the bad days. I can't do that on my own though. I'm so grateful for a Father who is more than willing to help me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gratitude Thursday, on Friday: Friends.

I've been really bad about posting what I'm grateful for on Thursday. Eek. I decided to go ahead and just do it today because I truly believe, better late than never:)

Best friends look like this.

I'm grateful for my friends. Every single one of them.
I'm grateful for their love and support. Especially this last year.
I'm grateful that they have stuck by my side through thick and thin.
I'm grateful that they continue to bless my life with their friendship and their love.
I'm grateful for long conversations about God and life.
I'm grateful for the prayers they pray for me and my family.
I'm grateful for their honest hearts and truthful spirits.
I'm grateful for their willingness to always come visit, even on school nights:). For being so understanding when I can't be somewhere because of the baby. For the effort they continue to put in to our friendship although times have changed. We've changed.
I'm grateful to God that He has given me the most wonderful friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm liking the change.

Every week, as Riley changes, she becomes more alert and responsive. Its hard for me to remember when all she could do was sleep and eat. She's constantly interacting with Leif and I. Mostly with smiles and loud coo'ing. She attempts to laugh but so far its just this odd noise. The picture above is actually her in the middle of laughing. Riley totally scrunches up her nose while she laughs (or whatever you would call it) and I think its the cutest and funniest thing ever.

While she matures so many things change. Her sleeping habits. Her eating habits. She's becoming her own person with her own dislikes and likes. Its fun to watch and be part of. Everyday is like a new adventure. You're not really sure what you're going to get from her or what exactly to expect. We'll have a routine down and then suddenly a new routine will emerge.

I have to say I'm liking staying at home with her a lot more now. Before it was boring and I was running out of stuff to do. Now I can take her on walks in her stroller without the big carseat and play with her and have her respond to me. Don't get me wrong, I loved having a newborn and I can't wait to have another one. But I'm also loving having an infant who smiles whenever I talk to her and can play with me. I know its going to keep getting more fun as time goes on. While I'm looking forward to all the milestones ahead, I'm making sure I'm enjoying everyday. I know that before I know it she'll be walking and talking and feeding herself. Until then I'm going to enjoy changing every diaper, waking up with her at night and carrying her around in her carseat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An update and some

First, my husband is ridiculous and I'm a bit embarrassed... But flattered so thank you:) I don't know about ANTM, I honestly just want to try out so I can meet Tyra and hug her. Seriously. I love her.

Second, I promised an update on things happening around here.
  • We're all over the sickness completely. Thank Jesus.
  • We moved from our upstairs apartment into a downstairs apartment last weekend, while sick. That was a bit sucky but we're loving our new place, especially the hardwood floors.
  • We bought our first couch and rug:) (A rug Riley already pee'd on) It was a very exciting experience for us. Around this time last year we moved into our first apartment and all the living room furniture was given to us. So grateful for that!
  • We're becoming more connected with our church! This is something Leif and I are thrilled about. We've been trying to find a good family church since last April. We joined a small foursquare church in Pasadena back in September and we've been loving it. It honestly feels like a family and everyone is so welcoming. How church should be:) We're looking forward to being even more plugged in.
  • God's continuing to bless us daily and we're very grateful for everything He has given us, gives us and will give us. Leif and I are also still praying about Oregon and guidance for that, so if you have a minute today please offer up a prayer for us! Much appreciated!

Last night, after we prayed, I was telling Leif about how it still amazes me that we were given such a beautiful daughter, who blesses us all the time. While I'm surprised at God's goodness, at the same time its not surprising. Because, He's such a wonderful father. He gives us more than we deserve. I'm so thankful that He has given Riley to Leif and I. I love being a mother and I know Leif loves being a father. Best thing that's ever happened to us.
Although its a little ways off (hopefully only a few months:), we can't wait until we have more children. Having Riley has shown us that we really do want to have a large family. It's also shown us that love is not limited. Love is unlimited.

Monday, March 9, 2009

America's Next Top Model

So America's Next Top Model is doing a season with girls that are 5'7" and under, and I keep trying to tell Margaret that she should try out. She says that probably every woman's husband or boyfriend tells them to try out, but I really think she could make it. And I don't think I'm the only one who thinks so. If anyone reading this agrees with me, I think you should leave a comment convincing her to audition. The worst thing that could happen is they could say no. And she might even get a chance to meet Tyra. So help me convince her.

I think this picture is proof that she could make it on the show, or even all the way to the top. I'm lucky to have such a beautiful wife. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My wife is an amazing amateur photographer...really...

I love the pictures Margaret takes of Riley. I'm sure it helps that we have such a beautiful child, but I'm always reminded of the talent she has when she shows me the pictures she's taken while I'm off at work. She always comes up with some of the best pictures of Riley, and I swear she barely even has to try. She just has a knack for catching her at the perfect moments. And not only that, but she adds little touches (like the way she frames her shots) that really make the pictures as good as they are. We just got a canon 20D digital SLR, and she's just starting to learn how to use it. We also got Photoshop CS3, and she's been learning how to use that as well, via online tutorials. I'm excited to see what she'll be capable of after putting alot of time into it. She's barely even started, and look at the results. She hasn't even had time to edit any of these in photoshop yet. She took all of these except the last one...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Over it.

I think we're all over being sick now. Thankfully. Things are still crazy and hectic around here with moving and all... But once things settle down, there will be a nice update:)

*These pictures were taken while we took a break from moving. It was lovely outside.