Monday, January 29, 2007

2007 Non-Resolutions

This year I decided to forgo New Year's resolutions. I figured the last thing I needed these days was something else to add stress to my life . (Besides, I always forget my resolutions by mid-February...) Instead I made a short to-do list of very inconsequential things I'd like to accomplish in 2007:
  • complete a triathlon
  • run another half-marathon
  • travel to Europe again
  • learn to make a souffle
  • make homemade Vietnamese spring rolls
This week, we finally checked an item off the list. Below are pictures of our homemade spring rolls. Not perfect, but not bad for beginners. They're rice noodles, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, shrimp, and cilantro wrapped with rice paper. Then we dipped them into homemade peanut sauce. Yum!

Meanwhile, Riley dined on sweet potatoes and mashed avocado.

She must be a budding foodie, judging from her interest in food...and her affinity for what's become her new favorite toy:

She loves gnawing on the rubber handle, which makes a funny squeaking noise against her gums. Another new favorite is the Valentine's Day beanie baby from Grandma Richards.

Right now, we're busy getting ready for our trip to Portland. I'll spend tomorrow working, doing LOTS of laundry, and packing. And Matt is working like mad to get three mobiles finished and shipped to Bloomingdale's before we leave. He's gotten several other potential project leads this week. Could be a busy spring!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Marathon, Mobiles, Mashed-up Food, and More

Our week started early when, last Sunday, we watched the elite Houston marathoners zoom through our neighborhood. Riley was so fascinated—her head followed as each runner went by. She probably wondered why mommy doesn't run that fast...

This week, Bloomingdale's contacted Matt, because they want some mobiles for the spring display in their SoHo store. He provided them a few sketches, which they're very happy with. If all goes well, maybe we'll plan a trip to New York in a few months to see the display!

Riley continues to enjoy her sweet potatoes. Although I think the majority of what I feed her (just a tablespoon or so) ends up in her hair, on her clothes, all over the floor... Bathtime has gone from an every-other-day affair to an absolute must each day!

Matt returns from Phoenix tonight, and Riley and I will both be happy to see him. We've got a busy week ahead—including Riley's six-month birthday. (And those six-month shots, too. Wish us luck with that!)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Little Dude

"Dude" is the preferred term of endearment in our household. So when Riley entered our family, she became "Little Dude." (Other nicknames include Riley Roo, Smiley Riley, Riley McSmiley, and Smiles.) Naturally, we were excited enough to see the Little Dude Storage Facility along Houston's scenic Interstate 45 that we had to capture it for posterity's sake.

Other Richards family news:

Matt is headed to Phoenix this week to install a mobile for a marketing company. He's looking forward to hanging out with Charlton and Brandon while he's there.

I started training for a triathlon that I plan to do in March. Matt was gracious enough to watch Riley (aka Little Dude) this morning while I biked 12 miles and ran 2 . Ouch!

We let Riley try REAL food yesterday. I mashed up a boiled sweet potato and let her try a few bites. She's a curious thing, so she was quite intrigued! We're looking forward to exposing her to more new flavors.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year!

We rang in 2007 in Dallas with Heather & family. We drove through torrential rainstorms to get there, but the trip was worth it. Riley enjoyed getting to know her cousins Nathan, Christa, and Jenna. We think she gets bored at home with just the two of us—she was so content with all the chaos and new people to meet! Nate could make her smile with his crazy dancing, and Christa smothered her with hugs. In return, Riley would grab at her face—her newest sign of affection.

Heather gave Riley a new hairdo with some infamous Hair Glue. See the hilarious results below, as well as the post-shampoo aftermath the next day (the shaggy-haired picture of her with Jenna and Christa).

In Dallas, we went to a Hawaiian birthday party for Christa, where Riley acquired a cute lei, a hula skirt, and...a nasty cold. We're dealing with that right now, middle of the night coughing fits and all. :(

We hope you had an equally fun—but cold-free—New Year's!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Riley's First Christmas

Well, we survived our first Christmas together as a little family—and it was a fun one! And although Riley doesn't actually care yet about all the festivities, it was fun to pretend like she did. In fact, in a twist of irony, Matt and I felt like little kids Christmas morning, because we waited impatiently for her to wake up. (Usually she's up by 7:30-ish. That morning she slept past 9!) I suspect she'll be the one up early a few Christmases down the road.

Santa surprised Riley with a cool new highchair. So far she loves it, because she can join us at the dinner table and feel part of the action. These days she shows excitement by flapping her arms against her body, and she flaps like crazy whenever we bring her near that highchair!

She also spent the day playing with the doll and mirror from Grandma Richards and the puzzle and books from Grandma Dougall. It's fun to see how well she's learning to play with toys and books. Just last month she could hardly grab for things!

Other Christmas highlights:
  • We ate Cornish-game hens for Christmas Eve and leg of lamb on Christmas day
  • Riley loved playing with (and eating) wrapping paper
  • Matt spoiled me with an iPod shuffle and some cooking stuff
  • Matt didn't do a single bit of work for 48 hours. Wow—a record!

Enjoy the pictures. (And sorry they're a bit of a mess. I'm still trying to figure out how formatting works in this thing.) Check back soon for our New Year's update.