November 2, 2009


We went "trick-or-treating" in downtown Fuquay on Friday. Here are some pictures a friend took for us.

October 28, 2009

Animal Sounds

Last weekend we drove out to see the Tice's again. This time, to help put up some fencing.

Riley thoroughly enjoyed all of the animals on their little farm. She was once again mesmerized by the chickens. (I'm starting to see a brood of chicks in our future.) The cats, however, seem to be her favorite. She chased the kittens around all weekend trying to pet them. She was surprisingly gentle with them and would bend down to look in their face and just giggle. Too bad Ian's allergic and I don't like cats... Riley wasn't sure of the dogs; they're still too jumpy and fast for her to feel comfortable around. But mom's favorite part...? We finally got Riley on a horse and rode around the yard for a bit. She seemed to enjoy it and wasn't afraid - so long as mom was up there with her!

Our camera is broken, so we didn't get any pictures. Hopefully, we'll get the few we took with Rachel's camera soon to post. Until then...

Here's Riley practicing her animal sounds!

October 27, 2009

18 Months!

Riley had her 18 month check up yesterday. She is 25 lbs. 3.2 oz. (65th%), 33 inches tall (85th%) and has a 47.5cm (75th%) head circumference.The doctor was impressed with her development milestones (how much she's talking, running/walking/climbing, understands direction, etc). Except for the flu shot booster we have to get next month, we won't need to go back again until she hits the 2 year mark. I can't believe we're already creeping up on that one!

October 20, 2009

State Fair

Riley got to attend her very first state fair today. We went with our friend Tracy and her son Bryson to the North Carolina State Fair; we all had a blast.

It started at 9:30am and we didn't leave until well after 2pm. We visited every animal barn (cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry, geese/ducks); the only one we missed was the rabbit house.

We visited the Village of Yesteryear, where Riley made her own rag doll bunny. It was sewn on an antique sewing machine from c.1880.

She LOVED the poultry barn where we got to hold/pet baby chicks and was mesmerized by the ginormous cows in the Kids' Barn. She didn't seem too interested in the sheep or pigs, but wanted to touch every chicken we saw.

We ate our share of fair food, indulging in polish sausage piled with onions, french fries and (of course) funnel cake. It was a good thing I packed lunch for Riley. At least one of us ate rather healthily.

By 1:30pm, she was completely worn out and fell asleep in the stroller.

October 12, 2009

Word of the Day

Our new word of the day is "Elmo." Now that she can articulate what it is she wants to watch, it is the ONLY thing she wants to see on t.v. We only have three different Elmo DVD's... someone save me!

October 11, 2009

Grandparents and corn mazes

Last weekend (Oct 3rd/4th) Papa and Grandma Cotton came to visit. We went to the Duke game and watched the Hokies play sub par football but still win. Riley didn't come to the game but had a blast playing at Hannah's house (thanks again for watching her Liz!).

Here are some videos of Riley playing around the dinner table and having fun with her grandparents.

This weekend (Oct 10th/11th) we took a trip to pick out some pumpkins. We went to place called Green Acres in Cary. While we there, we introduced Riley to small version of a "moon bounce" as well as a corn maze. Riley really enjoyed blast chasing the other kids in the maze.

September 24, 2009

Playing in the Rain

Yesterday evening it started to rain after dinner. Riley LOVES the rain. She loves to listen to it, to watch and most of all to play in it. When she knows it's raining outside, she'll sit by whatever window or door she can get to and watch the rain come down. Usually, she's asking to go outside by pulling me to the door and pointing at the rain.

Since it was relatively warm outside and we were headed for a bath anyway, we decided to let her play outside in the rain last night. She was quite entertaining!

September 21, 2009

Playdate Pictures

We had fun this morning at a HUGE playdate. Here are a few pictures to share...

September 20, 2009


Our visit with G-man!

Such a poser!

Watching Finding Nemo after breakfast.

She crawled into Gregory's car seat all by herself and then asked for help to get the shoulder straps over her arms.

Getting ready for our morning walk!

What? I'm being nice to the kitty! Moments before this picture, we heard a loud screeching from the cat. Riley had her pinned down by her back. I certainly didn't blame the cat when she showed up with scratches on her hands.

Beach Pictures

September 18, 2009

This one's for you Glyn!

I've been told that I was slacking on my blogging skills. And, truthfully, I have. But... (and there's always a but) there's a good reason! Labor Day Weekend was Ian's annual Geekend event. What is Geekend you ask? It's a three day marathon of Geekdom. That means role-playing games, video game tournaments and card games with all of his best friends. There are even trophies to be won. This fiesta of nerdery is about to celebrate it's tenth year next year!

But, I digress. This year Ian hosted the event at our house (it usually rotates between the 6-8 guys involved) and no women are allowed. This means that Riley and I had to vacate the premises. We're entirely okay with this. Who the heck wants to be in the same house with 8 guys drinking beer (and scotch) while eating as much junk food as they can in 72 hours? Not me.

So, we headed west to visit with our good friend RayRay and her little guy G-man (you may remember Gregory from earlier posts). We had a blast visiting from Friday through Monday. Rachel had just closed on owning her new veterinary practice and it was great to help her relieve some stress. There were only a couple times that she got called out (if you know the Tice's, you understand what an amazing feat that is!) and we actually had quite a bit of down time to enjoy catching up.

We managed to head over to Hendersonville, NC for the 63 Annual Apple Festival. It was crowded, and we only stayed about an hour and a half or so, but we enjoyed the sights, ate a delicious funnel cake (nothing like fried dough to make mama happy) and bought some of the best Macintosh apples I've had in a long time. Maggie and Lee, Matt's parents, were able to meet us down there, so we got some visiting in with them as well.

The weekend was rounded out by a nice morning walk with the kids, picking pears off a tree in the horse field and enjoying awesome home made dinners and wonderful conversation with the best girlfriend in all the world.

We were sad to leave on Monday, but knew we had to get back. Daddy was missing his little girl and there was more to come in our fun filled week ahead.

No sooner did we get home, but I had to wash clothes, re-pack our bags and get ready for another four hour trip. This time, in the opposite direction. That's right, folks. We got to go to the beach! For two and a half days, but what the heck! It's the beach!

Some friends of ours that have a little girl near Riley's age, Hannah, invited us out to the shore to spend some of their vacation time with them. There was supposed to be a bigger crowd, but Ian couldn't get the time off and other friends were forced to decline the offer. We certainly missed all of them, but had a blast hanging out with the Leuver clan!

We left late Wednesday night and got into Duck, NC around 10:45pm or so. Thursday was rainy and the surf was crazy strong. It was like a hurricane was coming or something with the wind blowing the sand around and the waves were almost up to the boardwalk. So, we wound up heading into Duck to the Scarborough Faire shopping center. Fortunately for us, it was a nice, leisurely walk from the house. We were perfectly situated between the beach and the shops.

It was amazing how little had changed since I was a little girl and my family used to vacation in Duck. Many of the same stores were still there in Scarborough Faire. There was the old bookstore, the Christmas Store and The Fudgery! Who could forget the Fudgery? It smelled and looked just like I remembered. I bought a pound of fudge (for the nostalgia of it all, of course) and relished in the memories it brought back.

The girls were hysterical all weekend with their antics. Both of them proved to have strong opinions and constantly battle for control of the best toys. Who knew that a little pink stroller sized for dolls would be the envy of them both? For being cooped up inside, they were both well behaved and entertained each other pretty well. Although, there were times when Hannah gave us this strange look that seemed to ask, "What kind of hell beast did you unleash on me?"

Friday found us some sunshine, but the water was still too rough. We got down to the beach for about an hour before the girls got tired of playing in the sand. They were both terrified of the water (I don't blame them, that surf was still crazy!) and we soon found ourselves back at the house and in the pool. Riley was a water lovin' machine! She wanted to jump into the water from the side. Constantly. I almost couldn't keep up with her and I swear Liz has some new gray hairs because of her daring displays. She would literally just walk right off the side. Whether or not you were watching. Finally, the girls went down for a nap and the adults were able to lounge by the pool and read for a bit.

We had a blast, and can't thank the Leuver's enough for letting us crash their family vacation!

Now that we're back home, it's been nice to relax and stay home for a change. The kiddos are growing up way too fast and it's hard sometimes to keep up with it all. Enjoy the pictures of our crazy week in the next post!

September 3, 2009

Another Busy Week

We've been having a great time with all of our playdates this week. Tuesday we hit up the local Community Center for open gym time with some friends. They open the gym up to kids, throw out some balls and let 'em have at it! There were only about six of us there, but we had a blast!

Wednesday we attended an all-ages playdate at our friend Stacy's. She's so generous that she allows all of us (at least 15 moms and twice that many kids) to invade her home and run rampant through her backyard. It's always chaotic and always fun!

Today, we went to Java Divine for some more Stacy Clearman's Littleland. Here's just a little taste of what his show is like.

Riley is finally starting to enjoy herself at these shows (every Thursday @ 10am) and even got up out of my lap today to dance. In fact, halfway through the show, she made her way up to stand right beside Stacy. She was infatuated with the guitar. Uh-oh!

Tomorrow, we're headed out to visit with Rachel and little Gregory. We get to spend the next four days with them and can't wait to see how much Gregory has changed. Ian will be hosting his annual Geekend with the guys here at the house. We'll be glad to be out of their hair for a bit, but will miss Daddy lots!

Next week, we'll be headed out to the beach to spend some time with our friends Liz & Mark and their daughter Hannah. Can't wait to be on the sand!

Off to go finish packing and feed peanut some dinner!

August 26, 2009

Playdate & Pretty Dresses

We went to a playdate on Monday with some friends and had a great time. It was the first time in over a week that we got outside the house to do something fun! The heat has been atrocious so we've steered clear of the parks and outdoor activities. Here are some pictures from the playdate and a few extra that we've taken in the past couple of weeks.

Riley and Wes

Paige trying out her model poses already!

A couple of couch potatoes.

Riley getting hugs from Meredith.

Grace and her mom, Shannon.

August 20, 2009


It's been quiet around here lately without much to post about. The past few weeks have been oppresively hot down here in NC and we've been holed up inside in the air conditioning. Today, however, we got out to see Stacy's Littleland, a live music show for kids put on every Thursday morning at a local coffee shop. We've been a few times in the past month and Riley really seems to enjoy the music. When it's over, she climbs out of my lap and dances all over the place.

Wait, after the music, you ask? That's right. AFTER the music ends. Because during the show, when all the other kids are squealing, jumping, twirling and singing along with the music, my darling little girl is curled up in my lap, face in my chest peeking out at the show. Her eyes are intent, taking it all in, watching, listening and (I hope) enjoying all the chaos, albeit silently. Occasionally, she brings her hands together and claps with a song, or sits up a little straighter to get a better look. All the while, she is quiet and watching.

Then, when it's all over and Stacy Clearman (the singer/performer) is putting away his equipment, my previously demure daughter slides out of my lap and carefully approaches the open floor (see, all the kids have now dispersed with their parents and gone home, leaving a nice, open space in which to dance). Here is when she lets out all that pent up energy. She cruises around the floor shaking, waving her arms, screeching with delight and excitement, enticing any one of the other patrons to chase her. Please, chase her.

It is hilarious to watch her let loose like this. To see how much she really does enjoy the music, dancing and singing.

Here are a few pictures taken by friends at an earlier Littleland concert.

August 7, 2009

August 2, 2009

Promised Pictures

The videos are taking a little longer to get uploaded. Specifically because we can't stop using the video camera long enough to download the files. I promise to have those up soon. To appease you all, here are some photos of the peanut!

July 30, 2009

15 Month Check-up

Riley had her 15 month check-up today. She is 23 lbs 9.6 oz, 31.5 inches tall and a head circumference of 46cm. All within 50-75 percentile. She took her vaccines like a big girl and only cried for about 30 seconds. The doctor commended her on her vocabulary and the fact that she seems to understand a lot of what's said to her. Guess we'll have to start watching what we're saying!

Busy, busy, busy!

We have been crazy busy the last few weeks. Backing all the way up to June, we had Father's Day with PawPaw Cotton (also his birthday!), the Fourth of July with the Conlons, a weekend at the Tice's and Grandma Cotton's birthday. Phew! We're glad to be home for a little bit.

I'm playing catch up with the blog, so bear with me. This update will be a long one!

Peanut has been walking steady now for about three weeks. It's amazing how fast it all happens. First there were a few tentative steps and lots of wobbling, now she's running almost full tilt around the house. We've had to re-visit baby proofing the house. All the little stuff she used to ignore (like picture frams, electric sockets, drinks on the table, the DVD player) are all fair game now. As hard as we try to redirect her attention, Riley is fascinated (like all children are) by the electronics. Buttons, lights and any remote control draw her attention like a moth to flames. She at least tries to restrain herself as she walks up to the object pointing at it, shaking her head and saying, "N-n-n-no, no, no!"

And now that she knows how to walk, she refuses to be carried anywhere. In fact, she'll most likely dive out of your hands to get to the floor. Nevermind the drop. That just gets her there faster.

We've also discovered that Riley is IN LOVE with the water. We've always known that she liked the water, but it wasn't until we had her in the pool/lake that we saw just how much she LOVES playing in the water. And, she's completely fearless. She will literally just step off the edge of the pool into the water. You better be watching and ready to catch her because she's quick, too! She doesn't want to be restrained, despite the fact she can't swim (or hold her breath) yet. She dunks herself and comes up sputtering, choking and smiling the whole time. Ready for round two? I am!!

She's giving me gray hairs already.

As for our trips, we've had a great time visiting with friends and family. Father's Day was a special celebration for Daddy and PawPaw. The Cotton's hosted a fabulous cookout with many friends and all "the girls" with all the grandkids. Not only was it Father's Day weekend, but it was also PawPaw's 65th birthday. Retirement is just around the corner for the old man!

The Fourth of July was spent at home this year. We hosted a small cookout with the Conlon's (Carly, Kevin, Matthew's family-Carly's brother). It was small and relaxing. A perfect way to celebrate. There were a few fireworks from the driveway. Just enough to get a taste. There was an even better display later that night that we could see from our house over the tree line. Must have been the local show down at the park.

Two weeks ago, we spent the weekend with the Tice's. It was great seeing them and little Gregory. I can't believe Riley was ever that small and conversely how quickly the little man is growing. He's rolling, talking and sitting up on his own. The big boy is even started on solid foods. Seems he loves most anything. We got to catch up with Matt and Rachel, too. There was a bonfire, a day at the lake and lots of wine and laughs. The best part, however, was Rachel's special tequila soaked watermelon. So good and SO dangerous!! YUM!!

Last weekend we got to see Grandma and PawPaw Cotton again for Grandma's 58th birthday. It was low key with a simple get together with just the family. We saw Ashley Friday night and Lisa and Chris came over on Saturday with the Binhammer's for hamburgers on the grill. Weather was perfect, albeit a little overcast, but on Sunday we all went down to the Rivah! for a dip at the marina pool and to check in on the boat. Apparently, Aunt Lisa was kicking off her week long vacation and was getting away at the boat in Deltaville. We all had a blast soaking in a bit of sunshine. Riley and I stayed until Monday afternoon to have a little extra time with Grandma and PawPaw and really enjoyed all the relaxin' we got to do. Unfortunately, Daddy wasn't able to come down with us as he had to stay in NC to work over the weekend. We were very glad to see him on Monday. I believe there were a few squeals of joy when he walked through the door that night after work.

Now that we're home, we're playing catch up. Trying to get the house back in shape (Although, Daddy did an absolutely WONDERFUL job of cleaning up the house while we were gone. It didn't take us long to mess it up again.) and everyone back into their routines. Riley's been a bit of a fuss pot this past week, but I just found out she has two new teeth coming through that explains a lot of it. This brings her total up to 14 teeth.

Pictures to come just as soon as I get them all downloaded. You can expect a few videos as well.

Love to all!

July 9, 2009

New Author

Ian has decided to join the blogging world and is going to be a regular author here on Peanut's blog. Help me welcome him!

P.S. You can see his first post just below this one.

Walk this way, talk this way

We've really been enjoying our video camera to capture special moments with Riley. Here's some footage of her learning to walk:

And here we have a dramatic reading from a magazine insert:

June 25, 2009

First Steps

Riley took her first steps on her own today. Daddy even got a repeat performance when he got home as she took off after him. We're both very proud of our little peanut. Little Miss Independent is on her way!

June 18, 2009

Peanut's on Video

Guess who got a video camera...

June 16, 2009

More Pictures from Marbles

Ashby and her Dad. Ashby's dad works with Ian. We went to Marbles Kids Museum with their family.
Enjoying the fish in the aquarium. She played with them for a good while.

Ashby and Brian travellin' the road together.

Manuevering the fire truck was also another favorite.
Riley driving.
Giving the horsey head butts and snuggles.
Riley on stage!

Eating the pipe cleaners at the craft table.