Monday, May 23, 2011


Two weekends ago on May 14th, my parents hosted a huge graduation party at their house for my brother and his friends since all graduation ceremonies in Tuscaloosa were cancelled due to the tornadoes. Several of his roommates, his girlfriend and her family, several high school friends and their families arrived to party in style. Dreamland BBQ was served and every type of alcohol was provided. Good conversations flowed in between good company. All the baby girls were cute as could be and behaved so well. The weather was perfect, allowing us to sit on the porch and enjoy ourselves. Mom's BFF and interior designer added perfect touches to the house and it looked beautiful. It was a perfect night and gave us the opportunity to celebrate Taylor's graduation the Ritchie way. At the party, I would occasionally look over at my brother and become overwhelmed with pride (and annoyance - Dean's List, really Taylor? Smartass.) that he survived college. And that he survived a massive tornado that took so many lives. I still can't get through one day without panicking, thinking about what could have been if the tornado had taken a slightly different path. Everyday, the image of the huge F4 tornado slowly (in reality, it was too fast for adequate warning) creeping across Tuscaloosa, taking lives with every second it lasted on the ground flashes before my eyes. I truly, truly thought I was watching my brother die as I sat on the couch, watching the live feed on tv, quietly sobbing my heart out. Those few moments are something I never want to experience again. My brother and his girlfriend emerged from his apartment physically unscathed, but filled with emotional scars. They have been so brave during the past few weeks and I constantly find myself in awe of how well they are handling things.

The graduation party had a special meaning to my family and me as we sat there and celebrated another milestone achieved, and celebrated this delicate thing called life.

So proud of you Taylor.

Monday, May 9, 2011

She's a storyteller

Peyton's new thing is telling stories. And it is hilarious to see and hear.

When Brad or I come home from work, she will launch into stories of what happened that day. My favorite part is that she will reenact the story with different voices, face expressions, and hand gestures. She will imitate who said what, even including when the dogs howled at the tornado sirens - I died laughing at her howling. Often she throws in words and noises that we cannot decipher, but they make us laugh so hard. I am going to try to get a video soon, it is just too funny.

But with this new thing, I have learned that I really, really have to watch what I am saying. Nothing goes unrepeated nowadays. Peyton really got into this story she told Brad, and repeated every single word I said. Including adult words that accidently slipped out of my mouth. Whoops.

Also, with this new storytelling feat, it can be really embarrassing. Like when she told her teachers that "mommy pooped on the potty like a big girl, good job mommy!" Thanks a lot Peyton. Sure glad we shared that with everyone. I have a feeling that everyone is going to know everything about us soon. Ah, the joys of having a toddler.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eight Months Old!

Today Campbell turned 8 months old. Meaning, in four months, I will have a three year old and a one year old. How crazy is that? Where has the time gone? I know how the time HASN'T been spent...

Campbell is quite mobile nowadays. She is crawling and even has these speed crawling bursts where she is able to cross the room within seconds. She pulls herself up on anything and everything, including objects that are not stationary. Meaning, she has a lot of bruises on her poor head. She has stood up without support for very brief moments, so I am wondering if she is going to be an early walker. When I hold her hands and try to get her to walk across the room, she is no where near being stable on her feet, so I think it might be a little longer before she is actually walking. But that is ok with me. I am not ready for both girls to be that mobile!

Campbell loves baby food when she is not sick. Loves her veggies, especially green beans and peas, in addition to squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes. She has started to eat the baby stage cheese puffs, and has fallen in love with those. She also likes yogurt melts, ice cream, and whipped cream. My pediatrician would die if she knew Campbell was eating some of the foods she does. But, when you have a big sister like Peyton, you are going to be offered anything. Including foods that Peyton doesn't want to eat for dinner. How convenient for Peyton...

Campbell is a happy baby, laid back and likes to watch what is going on around her. She definitely has her moments where she wants to be held and will not be happy until she is held. She knows how to cry on cue, demanding the nearest person to pick her up at that very moment.

Poor Campbell has spent most of her first eight months sick, but she is such a trooper, even when she has those high fevers. Peyton was occasionally sick during her first year, and only had a fever maybe 2 or 3 times. Campbell, on the other hand, sports 103 fevers like it's a fashion trend. But, she tolerates them well and even lets us (mom and dad) love on her for those brief moments she sits still.

She has two teeth, but doesn't look like any more are coming in soon. She still does not sleep through the night, but is getting better about it. The reflux is still miserable, especially during times where she has nasal/chest congestion, but it's slowly improving.

She really is a fabulous kid, just a little high maintenance and busy. Peyton adores her and does so well with her. We are loving life as a family of four, although we could use more sleep around here!