Monthly Archives: December 2007

Birthday Fun


To have a birthday near Christmas can really be a challenge. I always thought I had it rough celebrating a birthday two weeks after Christmas. Inevitably, I would go to the various grandparents’ houses for Christmas and get the usual, “This present is for Christmas and your birthday.” As a child, that was so disappointing! If my birthday were in June, no one would dare hand me a gift and say, “By the way, this is for your birthday and Christmas.” The two very different celebrations should be treated as such–completely separate events!

Riley has it much worse. Throughout the year, when people randomly talk to us out and about, they usually ask Riley how old she is and her birth date. When she replies, “Christmas Eve,” we usually get the expected responses, like, “Oh, a Christmas baby!” and “Oh, what a wonderful Christmas present you were!” and the like. It all may seem hunky-dory, but the reality is slightly different.

We do our best to make a big deal out of her birthday–to make it a special day completely separate from the holiday season–but doing so can be difficult. This year, she had two birthday parties and each grandparents’ home. Check out the two cool cakes:

The Scooby Doo Cake
The Spiderman Cake

Overall, she had a wonderful time at each party and got so excited opening her presents. Unfortunately, by the time Christmas rolled around, she was sort of over opening gifts and the whole “holiday” thing. I mean, she had a birthday at my mom’s house and my father’s house on December 14th, then a party at preschool on December 18th, she celebrated with Charles’ parents on December 23rd, opened our presents on her actual birthday December 24th, and then had Christmas the next day. One must admit: that’s way too much for a 4-year-old child.

My mom had a good idea: to have one set of grandparents celebrate a “half birthday” on June 24th. That way, she could have a fun summer party and not have to wait a full year to have any fun toys or presents. I think we might actually try this next year and keep going with it until she’s older and better understands the whole “birthday is the day before Christmas” thing.

Anyone have any other ideas?

This is really good cake!

A Spiderman bouncy ball!

Having a blast…

She finally got her Scooby Doo characters!




I swear these are true and quoted word-for-word…

Once, while we were on the phone with my mom, she asked Riley about reading books before bedtime and if the cats read books with her. Riley responded, “No, Gami, cats can’t read!” (February 2007)

While grocery shopping at Kroger, Riley was riding quietly in the cart. Suddenly, as I pushed the cart down one of the main isles in the store, she started shouting, “Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!” Boy, I got some strange looks from people with that one! (March 2007)

During a short drive to run errands, Charles and I were talking about our recent mood swings—we never seemed to be in a good mood at the same time. Charles said to me, “It seems like the minute you get happy, I go into a severe state of depression.” Riley’s small voice from the backseat suddenly piped in and said, “Daddy, can I go too?” (March 2007)

One day, I had to take Riley with me to the gynecologist for a routine appointment. When she asked where we were going, I told her we were going to see the doctor that delivered her. Riley said, “We’re going to see Miss Vivian?!?” (Vivian was our mail-lady at the time.) I said “no” and tried to explain things a little more clearly. Riley seemed to understand, but then asked, “Well, was I in a box?” (April 2007)

For a while, when she rough-housed with Charles, she’d exclaim, “I’m going to die you!” (April 2007)

When she dances, she says, “Mom, check out my cool moves!” (Summer 2007)

We had been trying for so long to get her to give up her paci during the day, but she really had a hard time with it. The best excuse for not wanting to give it up? “But Mommy, I can’t smell my blanket without my paci!” (Summer 2007)

Instead of drool, she usually says, “drill.” (August 2007)

One night before bed, Riley told me that her “brain talks something funny sometimes” and that her “brain falls asleep sometimes.” I said, “So, your brain falls asleep when you do?” She answered, “Yes” and then turned over to go to sleep. A few minutes later, she said, “Mommy, I think my brain is already asleep.” (September 2007)

While playing “train” with Charles, he started acting very silly and goofing off. Riley put her hands on her hips and said, “Daddy, your disturbing the other passengers.” (September 2007)

While eating Spiderman cheddar crackers, she found one that looked like some sort of medallion and asked me what it was. I said I wasn’t sure what it was and she said, “It must be for the ancient lost man in Spiderman.” What 3-year-old knows the word “ancient?” (September 2007)

On a trip to Calloway Gardens, we were all walking through the parking lot at the Discovery Center and Charles was looking at a map of the grounds trying to decide where we’d go next. He said, “I’m trying to figure out where we are,” meaning where we were on the map. Riley, in a matter-of-fact way, responded, “Daddy, we’re in the parking lot!” (October 2007)

On a trip to see Great-Grandma Collins, we were all riding in the van when a fire truck—sirens wailing—passed us in a big hurry. After it passed, Riley calmly said. “Well, that certainly was loud!” (December 2007)

She doesn’t call them “snowflakes,” she calls them “starflakes.” (December 2007)

Okay, I’m giving this a shot…


I’ve been inspired by Jen Mower and her awesome blog to set up one of these myself. I’m hoping family and friends will get a kick out of taking a little glimpse into our often mundane, but completely unpredictable, lives. If nothing else, it’s an easy way for the grandparents to see updated pictures of Riley whenever the urge hits.

I’ll do my best to add as much as I can in the coming weeks and include older pictures that many of you may not have seen in a while.