Baby A's

A small glimpse into our lives

Harley Love and Other Adventures September 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjribble @ 12:23 AM

Well, it finally happened! Atticus rode his little red Harley for the first time today! His birthday was in April and because his Daddy just couldn’t stand it, he had to buy him his very own Harley Davidson. I guess I should back up a little and give you the history of our family and the legendary love for Harley Davidson.

Ridin' the Harley

Ridin' the Harley

After we moved into our house last summer, Jesse began looking at motorcycles to buy. I guess I shouldn’t say “looking at” but, obsessively searching the internet for hours at a time. Around October, I think, he found one and we set off to check it out. When we both saw it for the first time, it was love at first sight. I was pregnant at the time and so jealous that I couldn’t even think of riding it! Those of you that know Jesse know that the bike could be nothing less than a Harley. He is a purist through and through and his inner bad boy absolutely lusted over that bike. After many discussions, I told him to just get the bike because he would never be happy until he did! He went for it and became the proud owner of a ’79 Shovelhead.

It didn’t take long for him to begin showing Atticus the ins and outs of motorcycling and the respect and love one has for a Harley Davidson. The deal was cinched even further when a couple of months later Grandpa Mike also purchased a Harley. Atticus loved the bike from afar considering that for the first two months he would nearly crap himself every time the loud rumbling engine was started. It would shake his bedroom floor when it was inside the garage…it was great! Many a father-son outing have been to the Harley store and I swear they can’t leave there without Jesse buying some sort of Harley gear for Atticus. I guess that’s what Dad’s are for…right?

As Atticus’ birthday rolled around, Jesse would talk endlessly about buying him a power wheels Harley. After much searching and some initial drama over receiving a bike with missing parts, the bike was assembled and ready to go for his second birthday. There was so much excitement and so many things going on at the party that the bike was not given it’s proper attention. However, true to form, Jesse took him out the next day to learn to ride. Now seriously, this little bike has some power and there is an initial kick upon starting. The first time Atticus tried this he nearly peed himself and was absolutely terrified. That was enough for him, he wouldn’t even touch it! Over the next few months his cousins, the neighbor, and I think maybe even Jesse…just kidding…rode the bike!

However, that all changed today. Out of nowhere he told Jesse he wanted to ride the bike. Jesse’s dad, Mike, has been in town for a couple of days on his own motorcycle trip and of course, they were in the garage working on Jesse’s bike. I walked outside to find my little man riding around the circle on his very own Harley Davidson. It was quite a sight to see three generations of Ribble’s and their Harley Davidson’s sitting in and around my garage. This was a memory and a moment I will never forget. Now, if this isn’t Harley Love, I don’t know what is!!!

CHEESE!

CHEESE!

Other Adventures…involving my baby girl! Don’t worry, I spend as much time with her and as she is growing faster and faster I realize how quickly the time flies. I’m not sure why, but with the second child, time seems to go much faster. I think probably the fact that there isn’t as much anticipation or just that you are more laid back by the time the second one gets here plays into the time factor a lot.

My sweet baby cakes!

My sweet baby cakes!

I was always so worried about having a daughter…too much drama, too expensive, and I personally, am not that “girly.” (Just ask my sisters)! Anyway, I can’t even begin to imagine my life without her. We already have this connection that is like none other. My mom has always said that your relationships with your daughters are so much different from your relationships with your sons…now I know what she meant. Ainsley and I can literally talk for hours. We make noises to each other, laugh, coo, and all those other silly things. I swear I’m not exaggerating when I say she totally lights up when I enter her room. She knows my voice better than anyone else’s and lately, we have been taking afternoon naps together. I cherish these moments deeply. We snuggle up side by side and because she is starting to reach for things…she reaches out for my face and usually falls asleep with her little, tiny hands on my face. I love her sweet little smell and her laugh is the best sound on the planet. It’s amazing how you don’t have to split your love for your children, but that somehow your heart just grows to fit more in. She is so close to rolling over and I imagine here in just a short time we won’t be able to lay her on the couch or the bed without constant vigilance.  

I put her in the big bathtub for the first time the other day and she was in Heaven. Both of my kids have loved the water and true to form, she splashed around until the water was cold. She was kicking her legs, waving her arms, and making a ton of noise. By the time I took her out, she had a big red spot on the back of her head from all the movement. As I sat there watching my baby girl, I couldn’t help but think of the day when she will become a mom and have these same moments with her own children.

In the big bathtub!

In the big bathtub!

As each day passes, I find I want to hang on to these moments forever. Jesse and I were having the discussion the other day about does it get easier as your kids get older to let them go? My heart aches when I am away from my babies and I hope it does get easier because I’m sure I will drive them crazy at some  point!

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Grandma D September 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — jjribble @ 10:46 PM

So, many of you know that my Grandma D died on the 22nd of August. Although it was sad, it wasn’t fully unexpected. She has been battling Alzheimer’s for the past five years and about three weeks ago stopped eating. I guess this is common in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, but it is still heartbreaking to hear that someone you love and care about is now gone.

I made a whirlwind driving trip with my sister Lindsay in order to be at the funeral and not be away from my family for an extended amount of time. Jesse was fantastic and took Friday off work to be with the kids and then held the fort down the entire weekend. I worked on Friday and then Lindsay and I left around 2 o’clock. We arrived in Portland at about one in the morning. The funeral was at ten the next morning and my mom wanted to be there early in order to get everything finalized. The service was wonderful and truly, what Grandma would have chosen herself. All three of her children were there…my mom of course, my Uncle Larry, and my Aunt Barbie. Even all the grand kids (minus 2) were able to attend. All my siblings were there, but one, and it was wonderful. There have been few times in my adult life where I have been genuinely and extremely grateful for my brothers and sisters. It was so comforting to have them all there and I hope in some small way we were a comfort to our own mother.

All of us participated in the funeral service and I will include the thoughts I shared. We were all able to go to the cemetary and dedicate the gravesite. It was truly one of the most beautiful cemetaries I have ever seen. Maybe it was just the beauty of the morning or the gorgeous Northwest, but it was the most perfect place for Grandma D. After the cemetary we all had lunch together and spent some time remembering Grandma and all of our crazy stories. Lindsay and I headed back home about six that evening and drove all night.

As I pulled into the driveway that morning I was talking to my own mom on the phone. I couldn’t help but thinking I would be totally lost without her. She does so much for us and without her, we couldn’t have the life we do. I know Grandma was old and sick, but I still don’t look forward to the day when my own mother is gone. I am so thankful every day for all she does for me and my little family. Atticus and Ainsley love their grandma so much and I truly hope they have as many wonderful memories of their grandma as I do of mine!

These are the thoughts I shared at my Grandma D’s funeral:

There have been many times throughout the past week where I have contemplated over and over what I would talk about today. I often thought to myself how do I pay homage to a woman with a life as rich and colorful as Grandma’s? I have loved and admired her for over thirty years and where would I even begin? There are too many memories, too many funny stories, and too many feelings to compile into a few minutes time. Grandma is the kind of woman that makes me thankful to share the same gender title. She has shaped and guided my life in so many ways beginning as a young girl and continuing on well into womanhood. As I begin to raise my own daughter, I can only hope that I teach her and guide her the way Grandma raised her own children and grandchildren…with love, laughter, and the occasional dash of crazy thrown in!

A few days ago I was having a discussion with a friend about the mysteries of life and the big unanswered questions of the universe. She made the comment to me that each major change in our life is like a new chapter in a book leading to a conclusion that is usually unseen. Being a school teacher and a self-proclaimed book nerd, this comment resonated with me. I thought how true. We journey through life writing our own stories, our histories, and hopefully, leaving our bestselling legacies to the generations to come. Often times our own plot lines follow one path and then quickly travel down a dark and scary road to the unknown. However, there are times when the fairy tale comes true and we find the gold at the end of the rainbow. I truly believe Grandma wrote many stories, some happy, some sad, but mostly stories we all love and cherish.  

Grandma had many chapters in her life. Her childhood in North Dakota, her teenage years, which if my memory serves me correctly and her stories are true, were rather rebellious and colorful. Now when I say rebellious I ask you to please keep this in perspective and remember it was the 1930’s, the middle of the Depression, and seriously, how much trouble can you really get into? I recall her telling me stories and never believing that she was young and not always just “Grandma.” When you are young you always believe that a person has been the same way their whole life. It was hard to comprehend and realize she had gone through all the same stages of life as me and all the while, continued writing her story. The next chapter of her life was written as a wife and mother. I am continually amazed and hold endless admiration for her years as a single mother. Being a mother of two small children myself, this fact holds clear perspective when my husband leaves for work each day. However, she persevered and raised three happy, healthy, and strong children who went on to continue her legacy and love.

I am sure there are many short stories within these chapters, but her next chapter, and the one which influenced me the most is her chapter as a Grandma. For me, she was the only grandparent I had growing up that I really remember and with whom I had a lengthy relationship. As her story progressed she took on many character roles. She was an adventurer, an inventor, a playmate, a doctor, a navigator, and friend. This short list doesn’t do justice to the many things Grandma was to each of us, but for me she was always a colorful character and someone I wanted in my storybook. She helped me to begin writing my story at a young age and I feel her presence and spirit as I continue to write my own story.

I am convinced that we are blessed in life to have certain people a part of our story. Grandma not only helped to shape my story, but in a way, was the beginning of it. She helped me to imagine and believe. She empowered me with tools to become a strong, compassionate, and forgiving woman. I love her with all my heart, and as her book ends in this life, I look forward to reading the next installment. 

Grandma D

Grandma D