Thursday, August 25, 2011


Dear Riley,

You are a hummer. You hum to your own tune.

I love your hums.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Riley Claire–Summer 2011 Newsletter

Dear Riley,
I will always remember the Summer of 2011 as the shortest summer ever. Time went by so quickly!
This summer started off for us with the Casey Anthony trial. I’ll not go into detail, but this case and trial will be remembered for a long time, much like the O.J. Simpson trial in the 1990s. I started following the case when I was still pregnant with you. I wasn’t someone who was consumed with the case, but I generally knew what was going on.
The trial was broadcast live on many television channels and the Internet. In order to maintain your happiness, I watched most of the trial on the Internet while you watched your “toons” on the television.  I’ll always remember my reaction to the verdict and calling your dad at work to tell him.
At the beginning of July we made our annual pilgrimage to Louisiana.
Something new we did this summer was spend time taking pictures in cemeteries. is a website that offers virtual cemeteries. Grandad got me hooked on going to area cemeteries and taking a picture of the headstones. Then, I would upload the pictures to the respective memorial. This took up a lot of our time this summer!
You were usually a pretty good sport. You liked to run and find your name on a headstone. One Findagrave trip took us all the way to Center, Texas.
This cemetery, East Hamilton Cemetery, is located in the Sabine National Forest. Way in there.
Findagrave led to family tree research. I was able to trace Grandmom’s grandmother’s family, the Fulghams, all the way back to Medieval England. Apparently the Fulgham family was a pretty big deal back then, and even today there is a Fulgham Family Association.
You went to vacation bible school for the first time this year. I was a little worried about you being just a tad too young. I stayed the whole time while you were there and was usually able to spy on you throughout the evening. Most nights you told me I needed to leave. It was hilarious to just sit and watch you interacting with the other kids. You really thought you were a big girl!
You also had your very first all-girl sleep over! This was a really fun night!

We wrapped up our summer with a vacation to Galveston. We had an awesome time with Paw-Paw and Tio.
It’s really hard for me to imagine that school starts on Monday. I had to work a couple days this week and you definitely were suffering with withdrawals from your Mama! It’s extremely hard to leave when you are crying, “Don’t leave me!” I think some of your cry is a little fake since you know where I’m going. You love to go to my classroom. You write on the board and color and play games; it’s your favorite.
Aunt Ma made the observation a few weeks ago that you don’t look like a toddler anymore. She said you were starting to look like a little girl. She’s very right. You are getting so long and tall. Your language is really amazing. You use big words like delicious to describe smells. If Daddy toots you’ll pinch your nose and say, “That does not smell delicious!”
There are lots of days when I can’t believe the things you know. You knew the beach and sea shells without ever seeing them before. You know what the colors on a red light signal mean. Your memory is incredible too. You remember things from a year ago that we rarely talk about. On our first trip to Delta Lodge in Louisiana, you met Leslie’s dog Flash. This year when we were telling you we were going to Delta Lodge again, you said, “To see Flash?” You weren’t even two when we went last year and not to hurt Flash’s feelings, but we really didn’t talk about him much in the year between visits. You are really good at remembering names and people as well.
One thing I love about you, you’ve finally arrived at the age where you want to lay your head in my lap while you watch t.v. It’s so nice to play with your hair and just look at you. You’re beautiful.
I won’t go into details here, but you also reached a major milestone in personal hygiene. I could not be more proud of you for being such a big girl! Not to mention the extra $25 a week we have!
It’s coming up on three years and I’m just blown away. Things don’t stay the same for long, and having you is proof of that. I still remember my little baby and how precious you were. I look at the baby clothes I kept and just hold them close to my chest. Time has gone so fast.
Everything about you is great. Your smile is amazing. Your laugh is heartwarming. Your hugs melt my world and your tears crush my heart. I am so proud of the little girl you have become! No one could ever replace you! I love you forever.
Love, Mama

Friday, August 12, 2011

Galveston, Texas

Dear Riley,
We are finally home from four long days in Galveston. Paw-Paw and Timothy went with us; we had a great time!
You idolize Timothy, or Tio as you call him. You love to play with him and probably get in his way a lot. But, he doesn’t seem to mind.
Four hours later, we headed straight to the beach. This was your first beach experience, but you knew it was the beach and you knew what sea shells were.
You’ve only ever been exposed to fresh water lakes and swimming pools. You were in for a real shock when the first wave hit you in the face. All you would say between gags was, “I need a drank! I need a drank!”
You loved finding sea shells and running from the waves. However, you were mad at one point when you figured out you couldn’t “sit” on the waves.
One thing about going anywhere with Paw-Paw: he likes to eat well. Our first stop was Gaido’s.
Yum! This was my favorite restaurant of the whole trip. Riley, you are about as photogenic as I am, which isn’t very much.
We also got some souvenirs at Murdoch’s.
We loved our hotel, The Beachcomber! It was about 1/2 a block from the Seawall.
The next day we went to Schlitterbahn. You and Tio had a great time!
We also checked out a local used bookstore, Galveston Bookshop. This bookstore was completely destroyed by hurricane Ike, which hit Galveston 3 days before you were born. Their website has some amazing Ike pictures.
Our second night we ate at Fish Tales. Fish Tales was highly recommended on Facebook, so we decided to check it out.
After dinner we went to ride the Bolivar Ferry. It was really awesome at sunset! We saw several porpoises too.
Our third day was spent mainly at the beach. We were supposed to tour the Galveston County Historical Museum, but it was closed when we arrived. If you ever want to make Paw-Paw mad, just try to go to a museum and it be closed.
On our last day, we rode a train around historical Galveston. This was one of my favorite activities the whole vacation. You weren’t that crazy about it, but you did enjoy riding the train.
I love Galveston and I think you had a great time as well. On our way back home we stopped to visit Aunt Dot. I love Aunt Dot, she is a hoot!
We were very glad to be home! I loved being with you when you first tasted the ocean and when you picked up your first sea shell. I see many more beach trips in our future!
Love you, Mama

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Sweet Baby

Dear Riley,

All your life I’ve referred to you as, “My sweet baby.” When you sit in my lap for a hug I’ll say, “This is my sweet baby!”

Well, you’ve outgrown my term of endearment. You correct me by saying, “No, I’m sweet girl!”

No longer a baby. Now a sweet girl. Never in a thousand years did I imagine this moment.



I love you.