Monday, December 31, 2007

This Day in History

It was 10 years ago today that Matt and I met.

We met at his grandma's house. I was meeting up with his sister there for our New Year's Eve festivities. Matt was too enthralled with First Kid (yes, the lame Sinbad movie) on Nickelodeon to give me the time of day. But we did make eye contact at some point that evening, and that's probably where it all began...

Catch Up

Where we've been: Salt Lake City

Why we were there: to celebrate Christmas!

Who we were with: the Richards clan—including Riley's five Richards cousins

What we did: rode the Polar Express, went sledding (in the backyard!) opened presents, played Wii, chased around cousins, discovered crayons, visited the SLC children's museum, wreaked havok on grandma's clean house, ate candy...and cleaned up toddler throw up—five days straight!

How we felt: happy! (minus the sick/puke part)

p.s. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

A merry white Christmas, at that!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


One more thing Riley doesn't understand or obey (at least not at 4:00 this morning): Go back to bed! Please!

Hmm, now let's discuss how tired I am tonight...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Watch What You Say...

Riley's had this comprehension explosion, where she suddenly understands nearly everything—not just the basics like "no" and "come here."

Here are a few of the surprising/amusing things she understands (and actually obeys!):

  • Get me a diaper, please

  • Spit out your pacifier

  • Please throw that away

  • Shimmy those shoulders

  • Where's the remote?

  • We're taking the elevator, not the stairs

...I wanted to post a photo of her shimmying her shoulders, but I haven't had my camera handy. Instead, here's another one of her after ransacking the Christmas tree. She still doesn't obey: "Quit eating all the cookies off the tree."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kathryn the Scrooge

Because I'm so miserly.
I took Riley to the mall to see Santa, but I just couldn't pony up $9.95 for a legitimate photo.
So this iPhone version my brother Geoff (sneakily) snapped will have to suffice.
Bah Humbug! Er, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Confession

When I was pregnant, I sort of hoped for a boy, only because I'm not so good at girly stuff like braiding hair. I mean, I didn't want to cheat a daughter out of a lifetime of french braids!

So of course, my girly girl was born with tons of hair. I still haven't tried anything fancy with it—I'm just happy if it's free of cottage cheese and apple butter.

But lucky for me and Riley, the daycare girl at my gym loves doing hair! (And she's good at working through apple butter snarls!)

Just don't ask me how she got Riley to sit still that long...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Why 30 is better than 20

  • I have a nice husband
  • I have a cute bundle of joy
  • I don't have homework or tests
  • I share the bathroom with two roommates instead of five
  • I have fewer zits
  • I can read for fun, not for school
  • I'm no longer addicted to free cell
  • I've saved more money than barely enough to cover next semester's tuition
  • I don't have to bum a ride to the grocery store
  • I can afford to eat more than toast and Pasta Roni
  • I have the skill to cook more than toast and Pasta Roni
  • I've seen more of the world than just the western United States
  • I can run longer than 15 minutes without getting winded
  • My current job (mommy/mobile slave) beats that telemarketing job
  • I don't care what (most) people think
  • I'm strong enough to survive a marathon, 180-mile bike ride, childbirth...and a hospitalized husband

Am I forgetting anything? (Yes, I'm looking for validation that getting older is great!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Reminder to Riley: Santa is Watching

We got our Christmas tree! It's three feet tall, perfect for out tiny living room. And last night, Sheri, Matt, and I decorated it with our favorite trimmings—lights, candy canes, and homemade gingerbread cookies.

When Riley woke up this morning, she was thrilled to see it. And within 15 minutes, she ate three cookies, ripped apart three others, snapped two candy canes in half, and knocked over the entire tree.

Um, Riley? That's not really nice-list behavior.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our Favorite Newlyweds

Our friends Charlton and Kimber visited from Phoenix this weekend. Since they've only been married a few weeks, we resisted the urge to tease them about having kids.

That is until Charlton:
  • Claimed dibs as Riley's godfather

  • Asked—at 9 p.m.—if we could wake her for playtime

  • Referred to her as our "bundle of joy."

Hmmm, aren't those classic signs of baby hunger?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Obsession of the Day


Riley ate SEVEN today. (And she actually wanted more...)

The upside:
  • It's not candy/twinkies/french fries
  • She can peel them herself
  • ...and throw away the peels herself! Another great (albeit random) milestone!
The downside:
  • Can you OD on Vitamin C?
  • Sticky furniture
  • Tomorrow's diaper

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

30 Extra Minutes=Very Happy Mommy

See that care bear pictured above? When you squeeze together its arms, it says, "Mmmmwa (how's a kissing noise spelled?), I love you! Mmmmwa, this hug's for you!"

Riley took it to bed with her last night, and this morning, after she woke up, we heard "Mmmmwa, I love you! Mmmmwa, this hug's for you!" for 30 minutes before she called for us.

30 minutes! Mr. Care Bear, I love you too.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

She's Back!

Riley's favorite aunt* Sheri spent the past six weeks in Peru doing a service internship thing. We all missed her, and we we're excited to have her back. (And from the looks of this picture, Sheri's excited to be back.)

Riley was especially excited about her new Peruvian hat. Although she won't keep it on longer than 30 seconds...

*To all you other aunties: the only reason we play favorites here is because Riley has been known to mistake Sheri for me. Could be the matching haircuts?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

#1 on the Thanksgiving List

It was six months ago today that Matt woke up with tingly hands and feet. We had no clue it was Guillain-Barré. Or that it would lead to near paralysis and eight long weeks in the hospital.

Now life's back to normal. A few minor residuals aside (numb & painful feet, tingly hands, and occasional fatigue), Matt's as good as new.

That's good. Here's why:

Back in August, I wrote about how Matt's neurologists though he might have CIDP, a chronic version of Guillain-Barré. The docs wanted to get him on a lifelong steroids treatment asap, but Matt resisted. We weren't convinced their diagnosis was accurate, and Matt didn't want to take drugs needlessly for the rest of his life.

When he met with the docs to question their diagnosis, they re-evaluated his condition and said, "Well, you're doing pretty good. But there's still a chance you have CIDP. So don't get your hopes up." (Ok, maybe I just interpreted that last part...)

They told us that, technically, if Matt didn't relapse within six months of onset, THEN they'd feel comfortable NOT calling it CIDP.

So my point is:
  • It's been six months since onset.
  • Matt's doing better than ever.
  • I think it's safe to say that Guillain-Barré is behind us.
  • Anybody want to buy a barely-used wheelchair?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pajama Mystery Solved?

Remember last week when Riley's pajamas were halfway undone?

Well here's how she looked this morning:

It seems our little Houdini has learned to undress herself.

Not exactly a brag-worthy milestone, but hey, we'll take it!

Let's hope she doesn't figure out the diaper, too... (Unless she's near that new toy.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Can $7.99 Buy Happiness?

That's how much this IKEA stool cost:

And here's how happy it made Riley:

Verdict: Worth every penny.

and p.s. to my running friends: trust me, IKEA swedish meatballs are not a recommended pre-race meal...

Saturday, November 17, 2007


In January, I posted a list of dumb, random things I wanted to do this year.

Here it is November, and I'll be honest: most of them just aren't gonna happen. (Europe funds, for example, got spent on a cross-country move, a new home, and neurologist bills. And the triathlon? Same excuse—packing, moving, and hospital visits kind of occupied tri season. Oh, and anyone got a souffle pan I could borrow?)

But I *finally* checked a second item off my list: I ran a half marathon today!

I didn't break any records, but I did survive all 13.1 miles—including the last five in torrential downpours—with enough energy left to chase Riley around all afternoon. Records schmecords. That alone is sweet success!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What's wrong with this picture?

Here's how Riley looked when we got her from bed this morning:

Exactly how do pajamas come halfway off in the night? Any guesses?

No wonder her come-get-me cries were crankier than usual....

*And if you guessed "her hair's all crazy," you'd be wrong. That's her normal bedhead.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

She's Mature for Her Age

Here's a conversation I had with a nice checkout lady at Fred Meyer last month:

CL: What a cute little girl. How old is she? 18 months?
me: Thanks, she's 14 months.
CL: Close. I was only off by two months.
me: (calculating 18 minus 14) Uh, yeah, close...

Here's a conversation I had with the same nice checkout lady a few weeks ago:

CL: Your daughter is so cute. How old is she?
me: 15 months.
CL: Oh, I would've guessed two!
me: Yeah, her hair makes her look older...

The other day, same checkout lady:

CL: Oh, she's so cute. What is she, 2 1/2?
me: (debating between: 1. Half that lady! 2. Haven't we had this conversation before? 3. Are you for real?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

No Time for Blogging. Too Busy Boxing.

For the first time in Matt/Kathryn history, I knew what to get Matt for his birthday: a Nintendo Wii.

He'd had his eye on them for months, and I figured since the hospital bills are pretty much paid and cashflow is returning now that he's working again, I'd make up for the past eight years of lame gifts. Plus, I thought he deserved something fun after such a crappy summer.

When he opened his Wii, he was really surprised and really happy.

But the real surprise has been how much *I've* enjoyed it. Who knew fake boxing could be so much fun?

Gotta love mutually beneficial gifts...

My running/biking buddy, Laura, is now my boxing buddy, too!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Guess Who's 31?

Hint: it's not the little one...

Matt doesn't really do birthdays (as his sisters will confirm), but feel free to wish him a happy one anyhow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Little String Bean

Riley's 15-month checkup was today.
She's 32 inches tall (90th percentile).
And 21 (give or take—she wouldn't sit still...) pounds (25th percentile).

My height: completely average
Matt's height: completely average

Where'd she get those tall genes? Lucky girl!

*Sorry, no pics of the sting bean today. Gotta get that camera (and phone!) working again...

Technical Difficulties

So our phone is on the fritz, big time. Going on 48 hours now.

So Matt's spent a lot of time lately yelling at/into the telephone. We even borrowed our (very kind) friend Ben's cell phone so we could yell at Vonage and Comcast. Of course, neither took responsibility or managed to come close to fixing the problem...

But Riley has learned something from the whole ordeal. Today, she grabbed the phone* (one of her favorite toys), put it to her ear, and yelled some ornery jibberish at/into it. Maybe Vonage would've listened to her!?

*I would've snapped a picture, but the camera's on the fritz too. Argh! Are we jinxed?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For Halloween, Riley the elephant went trick-or-treating with her friends Anna the monkey, Owen the duck/chicken, and Henry the (other) duck/chicken.

I thought they'd make it to maybe four or five homes. But an hour and a half into it, we parents begged for a break. We don't know how long they could've continued, but we do know that four little animals had the best night ever. (And six happy parents have the best candy stash ever.)

Oh, and here's the aftermath...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cousin Chaos

While the Las Vegas cousins were in town, it gave all the Oregon cousins a reason to get together, too. The photo below captures the cousin chaos in all its glory.

(and no, Riley is not extra tall. she's perched on my shoulders, because she refused to join the crowd on the couch. blame the chaos, maybe?)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cousin Fun

Riley's Las Vegas cousins, Kaitlyn, Cason and Jake, were in town for the weekend. Riley loved crawling around with 10-month old Jake, and she loved chasing around 4-year Cason and 6-year old Kaitlyn even more. Lucky girl's got some awfully fun—and awfully patient—cousins!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Unfortunately, this home sweet home is not ours. It's some random model home for some random lofts in NYC that happen to feature one of Matt's mobiles. And I just thought it looked cool enough to share.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Word of the Day

Ever since Riley mastered the pincer grasp several months ago, she practices by pinching my arm fat. I tried teaching her to stop, but instead I inadvertently taught her the word "ouch."

Now she pinches my arm fat while practicing her new skill—saying "ouch ouch ouch..."

she may look sweet, but she's got a mean pincer grasp. (and i've got the bruises to prove it...)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Toy(let)

Yeah, I know Riley's a little young to potty train. But she's got this strange obsession with our toilet, so I got her a pint-sized one, just for fun.

First goal: master sitting ON instead of standing IN...

Budding (Makeup?) Artist

Riley tried out some "toddler-friendly" markers today. But more landed on her lips than the paper.

So I assume "toddler-friendly" means easy to grasp, washable, non-toxic, and delicious?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

At the Cabin

One highlight of our vacation was a quick trip to the family cabin, where Riley discovered... (but a little dangerous) log stairs to climb...

...dirt and sticks...

...and swinging.

And Matt rediscovered swinging!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Those mobiles are done! Which means the sweatshop is closed! Which means I owe you all a Richards Family Vacation Update!

...except now I'm too tired. And besides, The Office is on soon...

Will a sneak preview suffice?

Vacation Day One: We visited BYU to check out our old stomping ground. As I snapped shots of Matt and Riley around campus, a co-ed mistook me for a *real* photographer and asked if I'd to take her roommate's engagement pictures. Ah, classic BYU.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Greetings from the Sweatshop

In case you're wondering what's happened to us, we spent the past 10 days in Utah for very fun much-needed vacation. We're home now—and we're up to our eyeballs in mobiles we're making for a local record label. Yes, vacation is OVER.

So please stay tuned for a vacation recap and photos.

Ok, back to work........

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Is this Normal?

I know it's normal for a one-year-old to sleep with a pacifier.

But FOUR pacifiers?

I guess I'm an enabler—I scatter them in her crib so she can find them at night. But she manages to horde them all together.

...which means weaning her off them might be (four times?) harder than I thought...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

PT Grad

Matt went to physical therapy today for the first time in three weeks. (He skipped a few, thanks to health insurance issues that needed sorting out...)

He walked in—no walker, no cane, no crutches—and his physical therapist was amazed. She said his progress this past month has been miraculous (I agree), and there's not much more she can do for him.

Yay for physical therapy graduation! (...and one less insurance issue to hassle with!)

And here's proof of all that walking:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I can feed myself, thank you!

If Riley could talk (besides "daddy" and "uh oh") that sentence above would be her current catch phrase.

Feeding herself an apple isn't so bad... But chocolate pudding, our dessert on Sunday? Well, let's just say we were too busy scouring the child and the apartment to capture the results.

14 months must be the age of new-found independence!?

Monday, September 24, 2007

World's Fastest Baby

Maybe I'm exaggerating a little.

Except when it come to escaping after bathtime.

(And let's hope 14 years down the road she doesn't begrudge me for posting these pics...)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Who needs a La-Z-Boy?

Please note the well-swept hardwood floors, particularly around Riley's high chair. That's a significant achievement around here. (A Grandma must've been around.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kindness x 2

Incident #1. My new running/biking buddy Laura found (and got!) me a bike trailer on Craigslist so Riley can join in our biking fun. I was (and still am) floored by her thoughfulness. And Riley and I were giddy with excitement!

Incident #2. On Friday, I took Riley for a ride. (Without Laura, unfortunately, since she had to work.) Six miles from home, Riley had enough. So we stopped, took a break, and started to turn around...when a wheel fell off the trailer. And the bolt to secure it to the trailer was gone. GONE. Uh...

I pulled to the side of the bike trail, scratched my helmet, and thought through my (very limited) options.

That's when we met Beth, a very kind woman/guardian angel, who saved the day.

  • pushed my bike & trailer to her condo 1/4 mile away while I carried Riley

  • had Riley & me hang out in her condo while she ran to the hardware store to get a new bolt

  • found all the tools I needed to fix the trailer

  • let me use her phone to let Matt know we were still alive

  • sent us safely on our way—with a bag of crackers that kept Riley happy the whole ride home

WOW. How do you say thanks for acts of kindness like that?