Sweet Days, Bottled Up

Last night when Jordan got home and asked about my day, a huge smile spread across my face. I pictured our daughter, earlier that day, with her Minnie Mouse backpack on her shoulders, a balloon in her right hand (a constant, daily companion for this Little One) as she held my hand and we walked to the playground. “These days with Riley are so sweet,” I told Jordan, “I wish that I could just bottle them up, and take them back out whenever I want to in the future!”

It was a great day, and most of my days with Riley lately have been. At 20 months old, this is by far the best and most fun age yet. I can’t even wipe the smile off my face right now as I think about it.

So this blog post is my best attempt at bottling it up! It is the only way that I can, in the future, look back and re-live these days.

Here are some things I want to remember about Riley at this age and about our days together:

1. She is a little introvert. Like both of her parents. She loves to play by herself. She enjoys being around other kids and observing them, but for the most part she just likes to play quietly in her own little corner doing her own little thing :). It makes my days pretty easy, because she just occupies herself. I love it about her. I love how she is so content and happy and imaginative and pensive. At one point yesterday when we went outside, a group of little neighborhood kids came over to her excitedly. You could tell she was delighted by the company, but she also looked overwhelmed so she just sat down on a little step by herself and looked up at them with a very thoughtful expression while they talked to her.

2. She is a thinker, like her Daddy! She rarely enjoys something until she has a little bit of time to warm up, get acquainted to it, and understand it. If we go to a new place or give her a new toy or activity, she will try really hard to figure it out first. Once she figures it out, she has a great time! But she likes to know how things work. As a matter of fact, she is often trying to figure out how things go together, open, close, move, turn on/off, etc. And if she can’t figure something out on her own, she gets frustrated with herself (also like her daddy). I can already tell that she loves learning. When we show her something or explain something to her, you can tell that she is really focused on understanding it and you can see the little wheels turning in her head.

3. She is girly, like her momma! She recently picked out her own new pair of shoes: bright, sparkly pink jellies with hearts on them! She loves to wear bows and clips in her hair, and will often bring them to me, point to her hair and say, “Hep!” (help). She loves to play in my jewelry, wear necklaces, wears any bag she finds like a purse, and asks if I can put lip gloss on her.

4. But even though she’s girly, let me tell you: girlfriend is NOT afraid to get dirty! As a matter of fact, we have started calling her our Hippie Earth Child (thanks Melissa for pointing it out and starting the Nickname) :). Her favorite place is Weaver Street Market, where she gets to be “free” outside. She just comes to life there. She will take her shoes off, roll around in the dirt, pour dirt on her head, dance and sing loudly for everyone to hear, lay in the long grass and cover herself with it, lay in nooks of the trees, and chase pigeons. It is the cutest thing to watch! We take her to Weaver Street on Fridays where we meet friends for Happy Hour, and I like to take her there during the week for picnics and outdoor play time.

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(^ on one of our little Weaver Street picnics. Note how she chose Stripes the tiger to join us , who was actually Jordan’s childhood stuffed animal. And he is wearing one of her t-shirts.)

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(^ Hippie Earth Child, being one with the tree)

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(^ and one with the grass)

5. Riley is quite the little rules follower (again, like her Daddy. She certainly didn’t get that from me!) She loves rules. She is pretty obedient (for awhile she would ask for a round of applause whenever she obeyed), but I think it is in part because she loves rules and order. When we go to the pool, she leads us to walk around to all of the rule signs, she points to them, and we read them out loud (“No diving” “No running,” etc.) She loves it. At Weaver Street, even Hippie Earth Child loves to go over to the sign with rules and point to them (“No smoking,” “keep pets on leash,” etc). When things are supposed to be a certain way, she wants them to be that certain way! Yesterday she got upset when I put a stack of DVDs on top of the entertainment center, because they are supposed to go in the cabinet, and she wants things to be exactly how they are supposed to be. I have a feeling this trait of hers is going to be real fun for her future siblings… 😉

6. Little.miss.independent. Riley is very independent. As mentioned above, she likes to do her own thing, likes to figure things out on her own, and she is also very determined. Basically, she is just a little female, miniature version of her father :). Recently, I’ve started letting her have her own little grocery cart at Trader Joes and let her put the groceries in it. She LOVES it. And so do any/all elderly women shopping that day.

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Riley, if you are reading this one day, I want you to know how much I love being your mom. Each day that we spend together is so sweet to me. I count it one of the greatest gifts in the world that I have the opportunity to stay home with you and enter into your little world with you each day. I love when you hold my hand, sing with me, dance, fall asleep in my arms when I rock you, bring a balloon and/or stuffed animal with you everywhere you go, want me to read to you, share our snacks with each other, and crack up laughing at whatever little things you find hilarious (a recent example: laying in bed, pulling the covers up to your neck, say “night night” but then pretend to roll over onto me). I love how you walk around pointing to our family pictures in frames saying, “Momma (which sounds more like Mema), Daddy, Riweey!” These days with you are precious. I would never trade them for anything. ❤

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KM.

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