Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The ONE thing I did right today.

Riley's got a fever and a runny nose. Again. Which means The Toddler From Hell has returned with a vengeance, bringing with her tantrums, crankiness, and a new favorite word: a high-pitched, five-syllable "NO!"

Under normal circumstances, I can handle this with relative ease. But when TTFH refuses to nap? That's when we enter survival mode. Survival 'til bedtime.

Except bedtime didn't work.

I breathed a sigh of relief when TTFH went down, as usual, without a hassle. But 15 minutes later, she wailed. And wailed and wailed.

I debated whether to let her wail or let her out. Instead, I tried an alternate tactic. One that hasn't worked in, oh, 21-odd months.

I rocked her to sleep.

TTFH is quite sweet when she's sleeping.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

She used to be cuddly. For a few days.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So Close, Yet So Far Away

These days, Riley tries her darndest to dress herself. But here's what usually happens instead:

Yes, I'm slightly negligent grabbing my camera instead of immediately saving her. But hey, meanwhile she mastered waddling.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Most Random Milestone Ever

Yesterday, Riley learned to climb in and out of the bathtub.

I didn't think much about it until this evening, when, moments after I started running the water for Riley's bath, I found this:

Reminder to self: don't turn your back for even a second.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Future Lawyer? (Or Juvenile Delinquent?)

Riley knows the rule: pacifiers are for crib time only.

But the sneaky kid discovered a loophole. After nap time, she tosses her pacifiers out of her crib. Later, she sneaks into her room and finds one I've inevitably neglected to pick up.

I figure if she's clever enough to figure that out, she deserves the darn thing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Full Disclosure

Ok, now that I've described how wonderful Portland is, I gotta be totally honest. We've had a long, wet, cold winter. Over the past month, we've had a handful of nice days, but mostly cold depressing weather. It wasn't so bad mid-December. But late April? Enough already!

When we DO get brief patches of sun, Riley takes advantage: She heads to the balcony with her new-found (from my closet) summer shoes.

Summer, please tell me you'll be here soon!

Maybe by then Riley will learn to actually walk in those summer shoes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yeah, We Love it Here

It was a year ago this week that we moved from here:

To here:

Here's what we miss about Houston:

  • Our friends/family 
  • Hermann Park. Everything about it.
  • Rice University (the running trail and free concerts)
  • The Central Market, my favorite uppity grocery store
  • The Fiesta, my favorite ghetto grocery store
  • The Museum District (and free museum night, in particular)
  • Texas barbecue. Mmmmm....meat....
  • The hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurants in third ward
Here's what we love about Portland:
  • Our friends/family 
  • The farmer's markets
  • Our little condo (squeaky floors and all)
  • Our pedestrian-friendly neighborhood (I haven't driven in more than a week!)
  • Public transportation (I repeat: I haven't driven in more than a week!)
  • The waterfront
  • Downtown
  • Forest Park
  • The zoo
  • The Rose Gardens
  • The Springwater Corridor
  • Powell's Books
  • Trader Joe's
  • St. Cupcake, Pizza Schmizza, Mio Gelato, the sushi place across the street, and all the street vendors at 10th and Alder

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Wish for Another Penny

While Riley and I ran errands today, we passed this (meyer! meyer!) fountain:
When we stopped to admire it, I dug into my bag, found a penny, and gave it to Riley to toss into the fountain.

She eagerly took the coin and went to chuck it into the fountain...but she wouldn't let go. Over and over, she fake threw the penny, without ever letting it leave her tight little fist.

Of course.

With a miserly mom and a penny-pinching pa, she was bound to inherit that frugality gene.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Riley Lexicon

The girl seems to learn a new word (or two) every day. But sometimes translation is necessary.

A few favorite examples:

meyer: water (also: river, rain, bath, drinking fountain, juice, puddle...)
nyuk: milk
kwak-kwak: quack (also: duck)
muuuuuy: more
elmo: Elmo (also: I'd rather wear a disposable diaper, OR let's go for a walk, OR please let me play on the Sesame Street web site, please please please! [Warning: take it from me, if you haven't shown your kid that site, don't start...])
op-koh: popcorn
appie: apple
ah-bub: lightbulb (also: turn the light on/off)
aaaaye: eye (also: sunglasses)
buh-ted: busted
teeeeee: teeth (also: toothbrush)
pete-ta: pizza (also: Pete [our neighbor's name])

Riley in meyer-boots.

How to Make Radishes and Swiss Chard Delicious

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

It's not really Disneyland. It's the Portland Farmer's Market.

It opened for the season yesterday, making for one giddy Richards family.

We got locally grown radishes, leeks, swiss chard, and red onions, plus strawberry pepper jelly, pear cider, fresh-baked gingersnaps, homemade pretzels, and lots and lots of samples.

You can't tell me that doesn't beat a two-hour wait for splash mountain.

Riley's First Crush

Our friends Emma, Aaron, and their boys David and Timothy visited from Seattle this week. We had a great time playing at the park and having dinner together.

Riley was particularly taken with five-year-old David, who protected her at the playground, caught her at the bottom of the slide, pushed her stroller, shared toys with her, and was generally chivalrous. 

Ah, young love.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dear Editor...

Ok, I may not be the artistic one in the family...but I am officially a published writer.

The latest Runner's World published my letter to the editor!

Of course they edited the heck out of it, totally changing my message. But hey, no complaints: I get a clip for my portfolio! And a free t-shirt!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Artistic Pursuits

While Matt makes mobiles...

Riley draws with sidewalk chalk.

(...and I just snap the photographs.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The "M" Word

Riley's learned the word "MINE."

But how?

I've gone great lengths to avoid saying that word. ("No Riley, that belongs to Mommy...")

She may have learned it at my gym's daycare. And I don't think that's all she's learned there.

Here's what I witnessed when I picked her up yesterday:

A 2 1/2 year old boy was minding his own business playing with a Thomas the Tank Engine train, when Riley spotted it and ran toward him yelling, "MINE! MINE!"

He ran away, so she cornered him, grabbing the trains from his hands. So he pushed her away. And she revolted by tackling him and attempting to bite his back. At this point, I intervened.

I was mortified. (But maybe a teeny tiny bit relieved she's not a total sissy like I probably was at her age.)

So. How do I un-teach tackling? And biting? And "MINE"? Anybody?

This sweet thing? Yessiree.