Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Your Daddy

Dear Riley,

I probably don’t tell you enough (or tell him enough!) how great your Daddy is. He is so much more patient and playful with you than I. During a possible tornado in our neighborhood last night, he insisted we get you out of bed to take cover in a closet. How many Dads would do that?

He plays for hours with you. And he documents the whole thing.





I have two best friends: you and your daddy. You only have one best friend: your daddy. No one compares to him in your eyes, or mine.

I love you and your daddy.

Love, Mama

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandmom

Dear Riley,

Today is Grandmom’s birthday. Grandmom had a pretty good birthday, and so did we.

I want to tell you about Grandmom. In 1989, my Daddy was granted full custody of me and Aunt Morgan. All three of us moved in with Grandmom and Grandad. Grandmom was about to raise two more kids. She was the second oldest of 9 kids, then she had 5 of her own, and then we moved in. Grandmom was always taking care of kids. She was a huge help to her mother, then raised her own, and then helped raise me and Aunt Morgan. Raising kids is one thing Grandmom knows how to do.

When I was growing up, Grandmom was always cooking. Always. We had a dessert with every meal, homemade snack during the day, and a large supper every night. Most mornings Grandmom made breakfast too.

Grandmom did a lot of laundry while I was growing up. I can always remember her out at the clothes line or ironing. She ironed just about everything the whole family wore. I can remember calling her name when I couldn’t find her, and she would usually be in the utility room and say, “Woohoo!” She always kept our clothes looking nice and smelling great. I don’t ever remember having to do any laundry or dishes.


I had a few issues after my Dad got custody of me. I was scared people would kidnap me, had crazy dreams, and some strange hygiene issues. Grandmom would always comfort me and assure me that if anyone “ever tried to get you, I’d beat them with the fireplace poker!” Surprisingly, I really thought my 5 ft. Grandmom could do it. She could do anything.

Grandmom took the place of our Mother when most grandparents were enjoying an empty nest. Grandmom put up with my teenage smart mouth and disrespect without missing a beat. I’m sure there were times she wanted to strangle me, but all Grandmom ever did was love me.


Grandmom didn’t miss any basketball games, volleyball games, and was never late to pick me up from anything. I never had to wait on her, but she was constantly waiting on me.

My Grandmom was the best mother I could have ever asked for. When I would pout about not having a mom around, all I had to do was look at the Grandmom I had right in front of me. Grandmom was beautiful inside and out.  She loved me and Morgan like we were her own, and since we were grandkids, I think she loved us more. To say I took Grandmom for granted growing up is an understatement.


Grandmom was very excited to welcome you into the world. She and Grandad spent a long day at the hospital to welcome you into the world. Grandmom had another baby to raise. One of her favorite things is holding a baby, and Grandmom always knew how to hold one to make them stop crying. Grandmom was one of the first people to hold you after you were born.


Grandmom has always looked forward to you coming to visit. She loves to read books to you and watch you play.




Riley, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you know your Grandmom. The only bad thing is that we know two different Grandmoms. Right around the time you were born, we started noticing signs of Alzheimer’s in Grandmom. Alzheimer’s disease has taught me two things: to love more deeply and unending patience.

And today as we celebrated Grandmom’s birthday, I just wanted to remind you of the Grandmom you are lucky to know. Grandmom loves you, and I know she would beat someone with the fireplace poker for you too. She picks up the toys you drag out and she cleans up the juice you spill. But mostly, Grandmom loves you, like she’s loved all the kids she’s raised. You truly are lucky.



Maybe next year you can sing “Happy Birthday” to Grandmom, I know I will.

I love you, Riley, and I love, love, my Grandmom.

Love, Mama

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Riley Claire–2 years 7 months newsletter

Dear Riley,

As you probably know, I’m an emotional person. And this emotional person has had an emotional week. Lately, I have missed you so much during my day. I ache to see you and know exactly what you are doing while I am working. When I get home from work we have a long hugging and kissing session with both of us saying “I love you!” and “I miss you!” many times. Your hugs are the best part of my day!


Usually, just you and I eat supper together while you Daddy is at school. I love our nightly dinners together and I usually join you at your little table. I think we both enjoy this time together! Your favorite foods are macaroni, spaghetti, cheese, yogurt, strawberries, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and Fruity Pebbles cereal.

I’m sure as a direct result of watching so many Disney princess movies, you’ve taken to calling me “Mother”, and your Daddy “Father”. It’s really funny and awkward to be called “Mother”.


Your favorite activity is going to the park. You like to meet the other girls playing there, introducing yourself as “Princess” and telling the little girls you are 6. They look at you like you are crazy and run away, with you following closely behind.


You’ve always been really good about entertaining yourself, so when the little girls leave you, you don’t seem to mind sliding by yourself.

You’re still very frightened of anything that moves. We kill numerous “bugs” all day long, but never actually see any real bugs. Not to mention, you’re afraid of hair. Strands of hair. I’m sorry, but my hair falls out. It’s something you’ll have to get used to.



You are a really big help with household chores. You love to fold wash rags, put up your socks, and wash dishes. Letting you make a mess with the water is something I’ve come to enjoy. You are learning and growing when you play.



You are a cutie and a sweetie. You are constantly entertaining us and keeping us on our toes. I am afraid you are going to escape from our apartment and I’ll be charged with child neglect. You can be very sneaky. Please don’t escape!

You have a love of the alphabet and books. You know what all the letters “say” and love to get new books from the library. It makes my heart truly happy that you love to learn and read.

One thing I struggle with is living in the moment and enjoying you. I enjoy the freedom your maturity has allowed me, but I sometimes think I take you for granted. I can’t imagine life without you, and wouldn’t want to live without you. You’re my best friend (even though I’m not yours), and I hope you can feel my love for you.

I love you with everything.

Love, Mama

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stealer of the Camera

Dear Riley,

You are a sneaky thief, but you leave evidence behind.





Love you baby.

Love, Mama