Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scenes from my phone

Living a full life and being on the go quite a bit - not to mention keeping up with an energetic 2 1/2 year old means I don't always have our "real" camera at the ready.

However, I usually always have my phone with me. That doesn't mean that I am a super technical person nor am I obsessed with my phone and can't live without it. But like most people these days, I have it with me and it's quite handy when I need to capture a good shot.  I don't always have the big camera with charged batteries ready to go.  Life happens fast these days so I am always ready with the camera on my phone on between times!

I thought I'd share a few pictures I have taken with my phone over the last few weeks. (If you follow me on Instagram, you have already seen several of these).

Ready or not, here we go...

Parker doesn't much like riding in his stroller these days.  (I guess he's older and too mature for such baby things!). He prefers to walk or ride on one of his toys. However, the other night while John was at a Bible study, he wanted to go for a stroller ride so I obliged. 

Have I mentioned we have a new pet?
Haha - Parker wishes! This brown cow roams the neighborhood and we often find her in our back area. She's seems real sweet and not bothered by us.

A couple of weeks ago we were out running errands on a Friday night and needed to pick up a couple of things at the grocery store.  We let Parker take his shopping cart from home to put our items in. He had a big time!
Parker is still enjoying his trampoline. One  Friday morning we put it in the front yard so he could soar and enjoy the beautiful day.
We recently did some fall planting - John got the tiller out to help dig a whole for one of the trees. We planted two trees, an azalea bush and a few flowers. 
This isn't the best picture, but I recently painted this canvas for Parker's room. I hung it above his nightstand and lamp. 
Two Wednesdays ago, it was my turn to take goodies to Bible study. I enlisted Parker's help in making the oatmeal cinnamon chip cookies.   He's really starting to enjoy helping me with baking.  It does my heart good to think of all of the memories we will make in the kitchen together.  

I still have all of our fall decor out, but about a week ago I added a few things for Halloween (this isn't all of them - just a few).   Next week, I will pack up the Halloween stuff we have out and put out a few Thanksgiving items.
Parker and I made a cute little spider out of his hand prints - complete with googly eyes!
While change is all around us, one thing that hasn't changed is Parker's love for the outdoors.  He goes outside for a while at least once a day, more if our time and schedule allow.  He's not going to be a happy camper when it starts getting dark after dinner - we usually play outside after we eat until it gets dark.  We will have to make some adjustments so we can work in more outside time at another part of the day.   

John took this picture on his phone and I know it could win a contest.  How perfect is it?  They were out looking for grasshoppers.  Parker actually wants to hold them and catch them now.  This is one of my new favorite pictures.
We are still working on various house projects. We have unpacked all of our boxes, but still a handful of things to hang and a few items we would like to purchase. I continue to work on decorating here and there - more tweaking and crafting to do about the house. John helped me work on our bedroom one Saturday during Parker's nap...oh how he loves me and helps me!
I made this collage for Parker's bathroom - a couple of my favorite bath pictures of him. 
Daddy and Parker like to play "swish" in the hallway. One of the things I love about our house is our long hallway with a wood floor. It's perfect for basketball and bowling games, rolling and bouncing balls, racing cars and trains...more things to come I am sure. 

Sometimes I peek in on Parker at nap time if he's been sleeping longer than usual. This particular day he looked extra sweet holding his giraffe. I had to take a picture of him - sweet and snuggly!
One morning before church, he let Mommy take his picture by the front door. It was a cool morning so we got out jeans and a fun long-sleeved shirt. Unfortunately, the weather has not been so Fall-like lately.  Come on October - get your act together. 
This past weekend, we went to visit my Mom and Armando (Mamaw and Gramps). We had a really nice, fun weekend - some good family time and very relaxing! Parker's favorite thing was feeding the cows each day. This is his buddy Pokey.

Parker and Leah were finally able to meet. Leah is my step-brother Cipri's daughter. She and Parker are four months apart, but this is the first time for them to be together. Leah has a little brother or sister on the way - exciting! 
Some days, I am just not sure about what technology has done in this world, but I am grateful for the good camera on my phone.  As you can see, it's captured some wonderful moments before the moment passed!

Until we meet again...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Under the Sea

On Monday, we took a day to just have some fun!  These days our life is full - in a good way, but full nonetheless.  We always have something going on and stay pretty busy whether here at home or away from home.  We wanted a little break from reality so we decided to take Parker to the aquarium for a fun treat.  We wanted to go during the week while kids were in school to avoid the crowd, so John took the day off.   

We have been telling him we were going for a few weeks now.  He has been anxious and excited, but also a little curious as to what the "aquarium" meant - other than lots of fish. We weren't 100% how he would do at the aquarium, but we wanted to give it a shot.  He's been such a trooper with all of his therapy so he deserved a day o' fun!  We lucked out because children under 3 are free and in typical Riley fashion, I had a coupon for mine and John's tickets.  I love a good deal. 

We took lots of good pictures which are a combination of pictures from our phones and our real camera (if you notice the quality differences).

Let's dive in, shall we?
Here's the happy and excited little boy complete with his Bubble Guppies shirt - perfect for checking out life under the sea.  

The aquarium we went to is in Grapevine, which took us about 45 minutes to an hour to get to.  It is inside the big Grapevine Mills Mall there.

Parker started in the little stroller we brought, but once we were in and it got a bit dark he wanted me to hold him.  We were kind of nervous thinking he might be scared, but I think it was just a little overwhelming at first because once he realized all of the neat fish tanks around him he said "get down" and he never wanted to be held or confined to the stroller after that. The stroller was great to push our stuff around in! 


We picked a great day because there was hardly any people there and we practically had the place to ourselves.  

Parker had an absolute blast - he enjoyed himself so much.  He actually liked it better than we even thought he would.  It was so neat to see the joy and happiness he was experiencing being there.  John and I had so much fun watching him in that environment and it did our hearts good.  There's nothing like watching the world through a child's eyes.   

 He thought this fish looked like a little fat pig so he wanted to sit "beside" him and get his picture taken.

This is Eddie the sea turtle.  Parker was a little intimidated by him at first, but grew to really like him as he swam around his tank.  He's still talking about "Eddie". 

Parker said his favorite thing about the aquarium were these shark teeth.  Even today, a few days after our trip he still says "shark teeth" were his favorite thing. 

In the final room, they had a little play area and Parker wanted to go down the slide a few times - he really loves slides these days.  Such a big boy!

We had a little book that we collected stamps/seals in as we went through and at the end you got a little "Sea Life Aquarium" medal for doing it.  Parker was so proud of his. 

I cannot say enough about how much fun Parker had and how much we enjoyed it - that was definitely our first of many visits I am sure.  Parker's already asked to go back many times.  He may want to ask for aquarium tickets for Christmas! 

After we left there, we decided to have lunch in the mall somewhere.  

As we were leaving though, Parker spotted a ride-on toy in the mall that he wanted to take for a spin.  This was HUGE for him because he's never wanted to try anything like this.  It was all his idea and he ended up riding it twice.  He rode the dog and the train.  He would have gone for 50 rides if we would have let him.  

For lunch, we thought we'd try to take Parker to the Rainforest Cafe for the first time.  We wouldn't even have attempted this a few months ago.  It is such a neat restaurant and you feel like you are in the jungle with all sorts of animals.  They even make noise every few minutes.  Again, because the mall wasn't too crowded and Parker's made a lot of progress with some of his sensory issues, we gave it a go.

It was a success and he did so well - he loved it!  We will definitely be back.  
Before leaving, we made one last stop and all rode a little train that went through the mall.  Parker really enjoyed it and again, would have stayed on it all day. 

It was such a fun and special day for our little family - it couldn't have gone any better.  We made lots of memories and we look forward to more outings like this to come. We have some fun ideas for the holidays already. 

Our little fish lover was worn out after his full day and fell asleep not too long after we got back on the road for home.  He fell asleep holding the aquarium brochure - sweet boy.

What a great day under the sea!

Until we meet again...