Saturday, August 8, 2009

Decatur General Hospital - June 30th, 2009

You got sick on a Sunday evening after a day at the pool. Your temperature went up to 104.5 and I was in a near panic. It came down slightly after Tylenol but rose up again quickly the next morning. Monday we went to the doctor and found out you had pneumonia. We tried a night of antibiotics, but they didn’t work. Your temperature remained high. The next morning you were admitted to Decatur General Hospital. The hardest moment of my life so far is watching your small body look so helpless and sick and listen to you cry as they gave you the IV. You were brave, though, and we spent a lot of time singing songs, coloring, and watching Disney princess movies. You also became a fan of Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet. By Thursday, they let us go home. Amazingly, you healed rather quickly and by Friday afternoon you were back to your wonderful self. I am so happy you are feeling better and please don’t scare me again! Really, though, if any silver lining can be found, it’s that I got to spend two days holding my baby girl and giving you lots of kisses. What’s better than that?

An Elephant Named Binky

Baby girl. Today was a big milestone for you. This is the day you said good-bye to your beloved Binky. For the last few months we have told you about the baby animals at the zoo that have no binkies. Their mommies need help taking care of the babies, so I asked if you would be kind enough to give them yours. After all, you are a big girl now. You know how to soothe yourself and don’t really need a Binky anymore. But those baby animals could sure use something to make them feel better. I asked you which animal you would give yours to. You informed me – the baby elephants (pronounced “L-fants”).

Today was a beautiful Tuesday in April (April 28th). As soon as we arrived at the Nashville Zoo, we went directly to the Baby Elephants. After giving the treasured Binky a kiss, you placed it on the stoop. The mommy elephant was kind of far away, so Daddy threw the Binky to her. You said bye-bye to Binky as the Mommy picked it up with her long snout. I guess you then realized it was gone and got very upset. You also thought she chewed it up. We assured you the Binky was given to the Baby. You walked away crying, but in return, the Mommy elephant gave a plush toy elephant as a symbol of her gratitude. You happily took the toy elephant and gave it a hug and kiss. We asked you want the toy elephant’s name to be. You promptly replied, “Binky.” So there on that brave April afternoon, an elephant named Binky came into our lives.

Carrot and Karat

Miss Julia and you were playing with your alphabet puzzle. She instructed you to place the letter “C” in its spot. To help you, she said, “Riley, place the “C” on the picture of the “carrot.” You promptly put the letter on the picture of the large diamond ring. At least you have your “karats” prioritized correctly!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Best Friend

Your best friend is Danica Otten. You call her Kica. You and Kica go to Little Gym together and as of this weekend, she lives across the street from you. Of course, the two of you are having some difficulty sharing, but are getting better each time you visit. Kica is a 6 months younger than you. You have a competitive nature, so when I tell you Kica is doing something better, like potty training or eating something in particular, you immediately change course. You always want to see her and ask for her each day. It’s great to know that you have such a great friend and it’s exciting to think of the two of you growing up together. Best friends are so important, and the longer you have them, the more special they are. I am blessed to have such wonderful friends. Samanta, Danica’s 5 month old sister, will make things even more interesting as you girls get older and go to school together. You are all such cuties, so I’m sure James and Daddy will have fun “cleaning the shotguns on the porch.” Stay tuned for more exciting adventures between Riley and Kica (and Sammie, too).

Bye Bye Binky

Well you have gone a full week without your Green (or pink) Binky. I never thought we’d see the day. How did we do it? You are going to give the Binky to the baby Elephants at the zoo. I had heard from another mother that it’s easier to let go of it if you think you are helping someone else. So, I told you the babies at the zoo are in need of a binky and really want yours. So I kept asking over and again if we could give your binky to them, and eventually you were ready to part with it at bed time. You have not had it all week! What a big girl. And each night you say we need to give it to the baby elephants (you decided that was the baby you wanted to give it to) as soon as we can (which will be when it warms up).

Oh my little girl is getting so big. You are also doing quite well with your potty training. You hardly ever wet your panties and for the first time, you went #2 on the potty last night before bed. You even told me you needed to go! (Date: 4/12/2009). We hope to be out of diapers by the end of the month. Keep up the good work Baby Girl!

Easter Prayer

Here’s the prayer I gave for dinner on Saturday. Please always remember that Easter is not about the chocolate Easter Bunnies and bright colors. Easter reminds us that God loved us so much he gave us his son so that we may live. Others will make sacrifices for you; you need to always remember to honor those who have by living a faithful and good life.
You and I celebrated Mass together (you could have been a little better, but overall you were darling). Daddy, unfortunately, was on another trip to Hawaii. I know he didn’t want to go, but duty calls. We ate lunch at the club with the Ottens and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. You and I went on a walk holding hands (the best part of my weekend). We also played with the boys outside and you enjoyed more of your candy. After dinner we watched Peter Pan and then off to bed. You were so tired, and were ready to get on that pillow. Thank you for being such an angel. All I have to do is look at you and be grateful to the Lord for blessing me with such a perfect child. I love you, Baby Girl.

Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing these three families together to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. May each of us today feel the blessings you have bestowed upon our families. We ask you, Lord, to bless this meal and help us remember the last meal of Jesus Christ.

As it is written in the Gospel according to Mark:
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mk 14, 22-25)

Lord, let us all remember our family and friends who are not here with us today. Let them be at peace and know the love of Jesus Christ. We also pray for all the men and women serving in the military, especially those fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally Lord, please hear our prayers for the most vulnerable without the voice to fight for themselves – the souls of the unborn babies and victims of animal cruelty.

Lord, let us all hear and believe in your word and the love you gave to us by giving your only son, Jesus Christ.

As it is written in the Gospel according to Mark:
Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. (Mk 16, 19)

In your name we pray. Amen

Easter Brunch, Hunt and Dinner 2009

Happy Easter Baby Girl. We began the morning with brunch. Rosie, James, Danica, Samanta, Sam and Julia joined you, Daddy and me for a fun-filled day. The Ottens brought prosciutto and melon wraps and smoked salmon and olives. Sam and Julia brought deviled eggs (for later) and two kinds of strada – bacon and cheese and strawberry. We served coffee (with Bailey’s and Jameson), mimosas (of course), bagels and cream cheese. Brunch was delicious! After giving out the
Easter baskets (you received a Dora ball cap, bubbles, frog hair clips and lots of chocolate in your basket and Ms. Julia gave you the Faberge eggs from William Sonoma) we headed to the club for the annual Easter egg hunt. It was a bit chilly outside, so we were able to get another year out of the beautiful pink dress coat from Grandma. We arrived just in time (and I mean about 1 minute before it began) for the egg hunt. The Easter Bunny (played by Tina, the beer cart lady) was also present. You took one look at her and instantly displayed a look of terror. The hunt began, but you were not at all interested – you just wanted to stay as far away from the scary bunny as possible. “Bye Bye Scary Easter Bunny” “No bunny mommy” “Want to go home” – yes we heard them all at the top of your lungs. Daddy carried you to the other side to try to avert your attention and I let the Easter Bunny know that she wasn’t to come near you but to no avail. You took off running and screaming in the opposite direction towards the golf cart. If I wasn’t so upset that you were missing out on the hunt I would have turned on the video camera. Sorry baby girl, but that was hilarious! Luckily Danica shared her eggs with you.

So now it is relaxation time – girls are taking a nap, Mom is finally enjoying some magazines, and the men are watching golf (yawn). About 3:00pm we served a veggie tray and Sam’s famous deviled eggs. Dinner was served at 4:00ish. The menu included ensalada caprezza (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinaigrette), lamb, new potatoes, steamed asparagus, and dinner rolls. Yummy. I gave the blessing and prayer. For dessert Rosie brought Tiaramisu and I served a Mud Pie (no not really, I won it during a silent auction at work). My table turned out great! Rosie brought a nice Italian red wine and a Pinot Grigio. Perfecto!

My entire point for going into this in such detail is that you try to always make holidays extra special. It’s such a great opportunity to bring families and friends together. Plus, you get to use your China! Never settle for paper plates for dinner on the holidays and always dress up. You feel a little better just for going the extra mile to make it special for your guests. When you do this, remember to have extra Tupperware on hand to send guests home with the leftovers (we had a ton).