Update on the Little Man

Last Wednesday, on Riley's 6-month birthday, we began feeding him vegetables. We started with carrots, and as you can tell from the picture, he wasn't too fond of them! (Sorry for the poor photography skills...it's a bit difficult to feed with the right hand and take a picture with the left!)

The doctor suggested we stick with one veggie for a few days to see if any allergies appeared, so we trudged through the carrots. When I pulled out the green peas on day 4, you would have thought I hung the moon in Riley's opinion! He really enjoyed the peas, but as with the carrots, he only ate about 1/3 of the jar each day. The doctor said he would start small and build up to a whole jar, so I wasn't concerned. And then there was sweet potatoes...

I think the picture says it all, but he LOVED them! He ate the entire jar yesterday and today! Unfortunately, we only had 2 jars of sweet potatoes, so tomorrow we'll be trying another new veggie...either green beans or butternut squash.

I mentioned to Riley's pediatrician at our visit last week that I was a little concerned about his eyes. I've noticed recently that it looks like his left eye is turning in more than it should (you may even notice it in the picture above). He suggested we take Riley to an eye doctor and get it checked out just to be sure there wasn't a problem. Thankfully, the dr. said his eyes look great! He told us that babies have a wider space between their eyes than adults do, so sometimes it looks as though their eyes are crossing or one may be a little lazy. It's really just an illusion because of the extra skin. He did several tests to be sure Riley's sight was okay, and he said he looked great! We were so thankful for a good report! I don't know if you can tell it in the picture above, but they dilated Riley's eyes and his pupils were SO big! Poor guy kept rubbing his eyes and looking around like, "what is going on?!" Needless to say, we're looking forward to next week when there are NO doctor's visits planned!

He is still a great eater! In fact, he showed me this morning that he doesn't need me...he can eat on his own! :) Okay, so maybe he dropped his bottle right after this picture was taken, but he does have an incredible grip (he held it with one hand for several seconds)! Can you tell I'm just a little proud of our son?! Well, I guess that's enough bragging for now. It's late and I've got to get up early in the morning! If you remember, please pray for us as we travel this weekend to what could potentially be our new home and church! Many blessings to all of you!

Christmas Tour 2009

We're leaving early in the morning for TX, but I was determined to blog about our Christmas road trip before February! :) Because it has been several weeks since we returned and there are other things to blog about tonight, too, I've decided to just give you some highlights from the trip. If you want to see pictures of our time touring the midwest, you can go here.

On our trip...
*Riley began eating baby food
*Riley's first 2 teeth popped out (one on Dec. 18 and the other on Jan. 2)
*We drove over 3500 miles in our 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis
*We were gone 26 days and drove in and out of 9 states (Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas)
*We learned just how much we LOVE our Garmin GPS!
*Riley was completely spoiled by family and friends :)
*We learned that our car registers temperatures in the negative...it was FREEZING in Kansas City, and the morning we left, the car said it was -2 degrees.
*Riley experienced his first snow...and man was there a lot!
*Daniel received the call that a church wanted to pursue him as their next pastor!
*Riley grew out of most of his 6 month clothes...made for interesting times dressing him the last few days before we got home! :)
*We spontaneously decided to drive to Kansas City, MO to visit some of our best friends.
*I got my haircut! It had only been a YEAR since my last cut! Can you say split-ends?!
*Daniel's mom and I learned first-hand that Daniel is not a plumber!
*Daniel and I spent our 2-year anniversary at his brother's apartment eating take-out :) (don't worry, we celebrated the week before in Nashville, thanks to my sweet mother-in-law!)
*We were able to see countless family and friends and make memories that will last a lifetime! Thank you, Lord, for protecting us and providing a way for us to spend so much time sharing life with those we love. We will never forget the faces we saw and the good times that were had!


He Wants Mine

Recently, while we've been eating or drinking, we've noticed Riley STARING at our food and drinks. He especially loves any type of drink with a straw. Last night, Daniel brought home a Mo'Cafe (from the cafe on campus) for me and it was killing Riley that he couldn't have any! See for yourself...


Half a year

Happy 6-month Birthday, Riley!!

What a sweet 6-month-old you are! Daddy and I love you more than we realized was ever possible! At this age, you have two bottom teeth and I think the top ones are not too far behind, you are rolling over both ways, sitting up with some assistance (your cute head sometimes causes you to lose your balance), talking up a storm, laughing, very ticklish (which makes you laugh even more!), trying to eat everything in sight, about to start trying some solid foods (tonight, in fact!), still taking 4 naps (and we are not complaining that you are such a good sleeper!), loving music - sometimes you even try to sing along, and causing people to smile when they look at your precious and friendly face!

It blows my mind that he is half a year old today! Where has the time gone?! You may wonder what Riley did to celebrate his big day. Well, it began with a fun trip to the doctor's office!

We found out that Riley is now 18 lbs 8 oz and a long 27.25 inches!

No 6-month visit is complete without a series of shots! Yay! So, he spent the last three days sad and sleepy because he had a fever (which the doctor believes was a virus since he saw some ulcers on the back of his throat today) and then the rest of today has been spent in the same way because he had shots! This is the first time shots have affected him negatively, but today he got the flu shot, so I think that may be what's causing him to be so cranky. That, and the fact that he missed one of his naps this morning while we were at the dr.'s office. Poor guy. He's such a sweet baby, so when he's constantly fussy and can hardly go an hour and a half before needing another nap, we know he's not feeling well. Tomorrow's a new day, and hopefully our fun-loving, energetic little man will be back in full force! So, it may not be the happiest of birthdays for Riley, but his mama and daddy sure are thankful the Lord created him and chose us to be his parents! We love you, sweet boy!


On my mind

I've been wanting to update the blog for several days now, but there's been so much on my mind and I wasn't sure how to put it all into words. The first has been this little guy...

We came home from church Sunday and noticed he was flushed and very warm. We took his temperature and it was 100.4. This is the first time Riley's had a fever, so Daniel and I kind of freaked out. Since then he's had a fever off and on, but really no other symptoms. Sunday afternoon, especially, you would have never known anything was wrong. Yesterday and today he's been a bit more fussy, but he's eating well, sleeping very well, and when his fever isn't too high, he's laughing and talking like normal. Thankfully, his 6-month well-visit was already scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:30, so hopefully we'll get some answers from the doctor then.

Second, like many of the rest of you, I have not been able to get the people of Haiti off my mind. For those of you who don't know, the country of Haiti was very near and dear to my heart prior to the earthquake. I've been on 4 mission trips there (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005), and during the first one, the Lord clearly confirmed my call to missions. There are so many vivid images in my mind of traveling around the country participating in medical clinics and day camps. I can hear the children singing, "Amen, Alleluia," "Jesus loves the little children (in Creole)," and so many other songs. I can feel the dirt on my face from riding in the back of a truck for hours in order to get to a remote village. I can see the smiles on the children's faces as we gave them clothes and toys and snacks. I can smell the burning trash mixed with exhaust from vehicles mixed with wild goats and pigs. I can feel Aye's hand in mine (a precious orphan who won my heart on the first trip and was later adopted by Marie Prinvil, an amazing Haitian woman who began an orphanage) and then see his face as I had to say goodbye not knowing if he would still be alive the next time I came to his village. As you can tell, a flood of memories have overwhelmed my mind and heart over the past week as I've seen pictures and heard stories about the devastation in Haiti. Because of other circumstances in our life right now, all I can do is pray (the most important!) and give. But, please pray with me that if it's the Lord's will, I will be able to travel back to Haiti sometime in the next year to help with relief efforts. If you'd like to keep up with a first-hand account of what it's like to be living there right now, I highly recommend this blog. Licia is the sister of one of our friends (Casey) who used to be a member of our church here in New Orleans. You'll see on the right side of the screen a box to click if you want to donate money.

The final thing on my mind is very exciting! Because of the nature of it, I can't share too many details just yet, but in less than 2 weeks we will be traveling to Texas for Daniel to preach at a church in view of a call. After preaching both the morning and evening services, the church will vote on whether they want Daniel to be their new pastor. If the vote goes through, we will load up our stuff and head west! We are both so excited, and we really believe this is the direction the Lord is leading us. But, until it's official, I don't think I should share the name of the town or church. Stay tuned for those details... :) We would really appreciate your prayers, though, as we continue through this process. At times, it can be a bit grueling and tiresome. The exact dates we'll be at the church are 1/29-1/31. Please pray especially for Daniel as he preaches both services and meets with pretty much every age group earlier in the weekend. Thank you so much!

I pray you're all doing well, and I promise I'll post about our almost month-long trip over Christmas soon!


Sweet Friends

Riley (5.5 months) and Hannah (10.5 months) chatting after breakfast. Too cute!


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Kansas City, Missouri! No, we did not move...we decided to drive up to KC to visit some very good friends, the Branscum's. They moved up here from New Orleans in June, and we hadn't seen them since then. It was a very last minute decision, but when we were in TN visiting Daniel's mom, we decided to go ahead and drive the 8 hours up to KC and stay with them for several days. We've had such a great time so far! I have a lot to write about when we get back to N.O. and get settled, but I thought I'd take a minute to wish everyone a Happy New Year! And since a blog is much better with pictures, here are a few of the little one to whet your appetite for future posts...

Playing with cousin Breanna

Ready for the annual Bramlett family Christmas party

Christmas morning - our little elf!

Playing with cousin Hannah in Kansas City, MO

First experience in the snow

We'll be heading back to New Orleans in a week or so, and I'll update the blog more once we're home.