Friday, May 30, 2008

Pool Parties and Practice

Here is the party boy himself! Beautiful picture above and below were both taken by Melissa. She is a dear friend with a much better camera than I have! Bradley got invited to a "pool" birthday party today, for Kate's 2nd birthday! Kim did a great job, all of the kids played around outside in the pools, water table, and of course in the cars. Bradley spent most of the party splashing around in the pool, which he kept calling a bath while showing the sign for bath that we do at nighttime before bed. He didn't understand why he had to wear a diaper and clothes in this particular bath. There were a few sprinklers at the party, but Bradley was a little leery of the spraying water. Thank you Kim for a great party! We had a great time!

Another great photo taken by Melissa! Thank you!




The boys! Brayden and Bradley getting into trouble!










Please be praying for me over the next week! I am going to do my final taping for Body Step next Thursday at 12! I am soooo nervous! I think I have all twelve songs memorized, just a lot of little kinks and problem areas to iron out before the big day. They recommend videotaping two or three times, and picking your best. We are leaving for the beach in a week, and I don't know how much time I will have to tape again once I get back. I will be practicing two or three times a day until next Thursday! I keep thinking, some people don't even like to work out. Why am I doing this? I guess I am just getting a little burned out on the step, but the end is in sight! I will let you know how it goes.



Saturday, May 24, 2008

Our Little Town

I spent most of my life growing up in Northern Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is so much to do in the city, restaurants, great sites to see, and of course tons of shopping. It took me a while to adjust to our smaller town that we live in now. I wanted to go shopping at great malls and not have to travel 15 minutes to get groceries. Even though there isn't a huge mall nearby...but there is so much for us to do (esp. as a family). The great thing is you can actually enjoy it...you don't have to fight hours of traffic to get anywhere (15 minutes will get you just about any place in town), there isn't hoards of crowds anywhere you go, worring about losing your child in the crowd and people are so friendly.


Recently I heard some Moms talking about a great park in town. So, during the week we tried it out with some friends. Well, not only is it a beautiful park in a safe neighborhood, but they had this great water playground that turns on in the spring. So, this morning Chris and I gathered up Bradley's swimsuit and took him over to the park. There wasn't tons of people, just a few nice families enjoying the first glimpses of summer. Here are some of the photos I snapped while we were there.

All of the water features turn on with motion.
It was hilarious watching Bradley try and figure this out.

"Look at me, Mommy!"


"Wait a minute, it is getting lower!"



"Where did it go? Come back!"


"Wow! It's cold!"



One of my neighbors told me about a this great food co-op for the spring and summer. The company buys all local, organic fresh food and brings it to different drop points in town. Chris and I decided to try for the summer! It is awesome! The strawberries were sooooo good! We ate them already! Each week you go and pick up your food, and you always get something a little different. It has made us try some new foods, kale and collard greens. It is fairly cheap and the people are so nice...only in a small town....



One great part of my life this year has been MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). Our group runs during the school year, in a local church. Wonderful women of the church volunteer to watch our children for two hours while we get to listen to great speakers, make crafts, and just socialize. It has been such a blessing in my life this year. Everything in MOPS is run through your table, so you get to know your "tablemates" really well. On Friday we all met at Melissa's house and had a playgroup with the kiddies. Here is a picture of all of the kids at the end of playgroup. The only one who wouldn't sit for the picture? Bradley, of course! We missed you Kim!




Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Meme (a little about me:~)

I have been tagged by the wonderful Kim at Three Peanuts. Kim inspired me to start blogging and I love seeing all of the memories she has been able to preserve from her blog. So, here is my first meme...

I was tagged by Kim to do this meme:

Favorite person (outside of family): This is a really hard first question....

Favorite food? I love to cook and try new foods. I am a lot more adventurous than my husband in that area. Favorite food that I cook for myself would be homemade cheesecake for the holidays. If I went out to get my favorite food it would have to be Chinese (P.F. Changs)!! Yummo! I also LOVE anything from Rachel Ray's cookbooks. She is the best!

Quirks about you? I am sure my husband could name a whole list for this question. I think I am really quirky about things (esp. around the house) and I am very particular. If I am going to take the time to do something, I want to do it 110% and make it the best. I would say I have a severe case of perfectionism. I would like to work on that, as I am writing about it. I can't sit down and relax at night unless the whole kitchen is cleaned, house is picked up, and Bradley's playroom is organized.

I can NEVER find my car keys when it is time to leave, I mean NEVER!

How would the person who loves you the most describe you in ten words or less? Chris said, "loving, caring, and compassionate mother and wife" Ahhhhh!

Any regrets in life? I wish I hadn't been so hard on my parents in high school. I think I was really well behaved as a young child, but I put my parents through a lot in high school. I finally came around though! I am worried about regretting things as a parent. I hope to live each moment to the fullest, and not leave things unsaid or undone. We will never get these moments back.

Favorite charity or cause? I am such a softy for giving money to a good cause. If anyone rings our door bell to sell things from Girl Scout cookies to tubs of cookie dough, we will buy them. I think Chris is worse than me (he bought over $50 in cookie dough that is still sitting in the freezer for the local high school band!). I used to run in a lot of race fund raisers, mostly Susan G. Komen or American Cancer Society. I would probably say my favorite is anything giving to children in need or the American Cancer Society to support cancer research.

Favorite blog recently? Most of the blogs I have found have been through Kim's blog. I really love Classy Choas! It is really funny! I also saw the Today show interview with the writer of Dooce and that is a really fun blog.

Something you cannot get enough of? Most recently... Skinny Cow ice cream cones! They are so awesome and only 150 calories for the cone and all:) Mostly though I am obsessed with smoothies from Smoothie King. We have one in our town, and when Bradley was really little I would drive over there a few times a week just for the Angel Food Cake Smoothie. My husband is now an addict as well.

Worst job you ever had? One Christmas break in college I got a job at a temp. agency. They placed me at this place where you listened to recorded messages of people calling in to get information from a comercial ad. I had to listen to the message and enter in the person's name and address. I am a HORRIBLE speller and all of the people who were calling in were elderly (I could hardly hear them, and their names were like Dorothy not Amy!) I was horrible. They fired me on the second day for too many spelling errors. Thank God for spell check! Most other jobs I have loved from life guarding for four summers to working at summer camps.

What job would you pay NOT to have? Anything sitting down in a cubicle all day long. I just really need some people interaction.

If you could be a fly on the wall, where? I guess I would want to be a fly on the wall where my husband plays poker. It would be interesting to hear what he says about me in front of his friends.

Guilty pleasure? Definitely my newest guilty pleasure is blogging and facebook (I have found so many people on facebook it is so fun!!!)

Got any confessions? I worry about letting Bradley eat too many processed foods, foods that aren't organic, and food made with genetically modified ingredients. I want him to eat fresh and healthy, and he really does well. But then we will have a phase where all he will eat is Ritz Bitz crackers for two weeks straight. I worry about it constantly! Confessions as a parent, as for myself I wish that I drank less Diet Coke. I am totally addicted, I know horrible!

If you had to spend $1000 on yourself, how would you spend it? Probably shopping for clothes and shoes. I am thinner now than before I had Bradley. I have bought more clothes, but I still don't have a ton of things that fit me like before. I just don't have the time to do some serious shopping. Also, it seems like if I do have a new shirt on he will grab me with syrup on his hands and it is ruined. So for right now I am sticking with Old Navy and Gap, no more Banana Republic and Ann Taylor for a while.

Favorite thing about your house? I love my home...Chris and I picked every last detail down to the grout colors in the tile. My favorite thing is the morning room and deck. It looks out over the trees and it gets wonderful light! I also love Bradley's nursery. It is just so cozy in there!

Least favorite thing about your house? Probably all of the things that we still want to work on! There are just so many, from tons of different yard projects to getting curtains hung and buying more furniture for a few different rooms. Now that we have been here for a few years we are really ready to decorate some more!

One thing you are bad at? Math! I used to be fairly good at math, but then I taught first and second grade for 5 years. I guess multiplication and division just left my brain! I can count to ten really well though!

One thing you are good at? Teaching children! I love to watch the process of children learning how to read. That is why I loved teaching first grade. When I go down in my basement and see all of the years of hard work and "stuff" I do miss it. But, this is the season of my life to be at home with my family. There will always be teaching jobs in the future, but Bradley won't always be 1 1/2.

If you could change one thing about your circumstances, what? I love everything about my life right at this moment. I don't think I have ever been this content being a wife and mother. I feel like I have truly found my calling from God.

Who would you like to meet someday? My favorite girl...Oprah Winfrey

What makes you feel sexy? A dressy outfit and high heels!

Who is your real life hero? Stay a home moms everywhere, whether they have one child or four it is all really hard!

What is the hardest part of your job? Right now it is learning how to discipline Bradley appropriately. And how to say no to outside commitments that take me away from home too much.

When are you most relaxed? On Saturday morning when Chris is letting me sleep in and Bradley is downstairs playing with him. Or on the beach-anywhere!

What stresses you out? Bradley throwing a tantrum in the middle of Target.

What can you not live without? My gym membership, having a place with great people to watch my child for an hour while I take care of myself.

Do you agree with the recent article that blogs are authored by narcissists? No, I think this is such a wonderful way to communicate with family and friends. I have received a ton of emails from friends writing little notes about loving to check our blog. They wouldn't get to find out all of the fun little things that go on in our daily life if it wasn't for this blog.

Why do you blog? To have a day to day account of our lives raising Bradley, and staying connected with family and friends.

Who are you tagging?
New/newer bloggers- Melissa and Lauren
Bloggy friends-Lindsay and April
Bloggers you'd like to get to know better- Pip
Don't have a lot of blog friends...this is best I could do:0


Rules:
1. Answer the questions.
2. Link back to who tagged you.
3. Tag 8 bloggers in the above categories to do the same.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Popcorn and Bath Time

On Sundays Chris watches Bradley for the whole day while I am working at my church. Chris started a tradition of eating popcorn with Bradley on Sundays. He would pop a big bowl, and they would sit on the couch eating one piece at a time. Bradley LOVES popcorn...as soon as he was up from his nap on Sundays Chris would start making it. Bradley would throw his little binki out of his mouth and run for the couch! How cute! Well, we recently went to our towns Friday afternoon music venue. It is right in our downtown area on Friday afternoons...free music, tons of kids and parents, it is lots of fun. We got Bradley a big bag of kettle corn (it was almost as tall as him), and settled in for some music and of course to people watch. Here are some photos:

Bradley looking out over the lawn at all of the people!


Popcorn!

Bradley was dancing in the photo, it is hard to tell, but it was really cute!


Another favorite time of day for our little one is bath time. He says Bath now and Night, Night. Once he hears those words he runs for the steps and starts to climb up. We are so blessed with a child that loves to sleep! Here are some recent pictures of bath time. Chris usually handles all night time procedures, I usually come up for a quick kiss or to play with Bradley in the tub. Most often I am cleaning up downstairs or finishing cooking dinner.






Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dear Bradley, PS I Love You This Much!


Dearest Bradley,

Thank you for letting me be your Mom. It has been such an honor to be your mother over the past year and a half. How did I get so lucky? You haven't been angry at me for all of the mistakes I have made, and the things I did wrong. You have only loved me. It is amazing that it takes the love of a baby to teach us how to truly love unconditionally as adults. Before having you I read every book I could get my hands on about mothering, diapering, breast feeding, and sleeping. You came home and turned my world upside down. You cried and my heart would leap! You smiled and I would explode with joy! You laughed and we would laugh until we cried. You taught me that being a Mom isn't something you read in black in white, but something that was always inside of me. God created me to be a Mom and espcially a Mom to you, my dearest Bradley.


I know when you wake up how much you love to go and look for Daddy in the shower before breakfast. I know that when you are sleepy you rub your little ear. I know that even if I put your shoes on, you will probably take them off in the car. I know that you love to hide in your sink cabinet when I am picking up your room. I know you love to listen to books. I know when you wake up you like to lay awhile in your crib before being picked up. I know that you only drink water, even though I try to offer you milk all the time. I know that you would play in the yard all day if I let you. I know how much you love to get a massage after a bath, and sometimes you will fall asleep during it.


I know you, I love you, I am your Mommy. The greaest job and privledge God ever gave me was raising you. I pray every night to be the best Mom for you, and to guide you in all of the right directions. And even though I may stumble and fall as a Mom that these mistakes will be lessons learned for both of us. Thank you for a wonderful Mother's Day.

Love, Mommy

PS I Love You This Much!






Monday, May 5, 2008

Time Flies...

You won't even believe what our little peanut of a 1 1/2 year old did!? A while ago Chris and I noticed a split down the side of one of our kitchen cabinets. We assumed that Bradley may of done it while he was learning to pull up and open them. Well, all of the cabinets have been locked for quite a while now. The other day Bradley pulled on this same door so hard that it just split right down the side!!! It scared him to death, and Chris and I just looked down at the floor in amazement! Now we have to wait at least two weeks for a new cabinet door to come in. It is driving me crazy, but I guess I just have to deal with it...



The new look of our island cabinet!


I was talking to my friend Kim the other day and she was telling me that after you have had a few children the memories begin to fade. As I have gone through this first year with Bradley I have thought that I won't forget this!!! But, it seems that the sleepless nights seem really far off, along with the fussy little baby we brought home a year ago. I took some pictures the other day of some of Bradley's favorite things right now. They may seem really silly, but they are little things that are a part of his life every day.


Broccoli!! This child LOVES broccoli! I buy it in bunches at the grocery store, or in large bags at Sam's Club. He loves to have it for dinner. He will eat an entire bunch of broccoli in one sitting.




These are some of Bradley's favorite snacks. He LOVES the dried fruit. He holds it between his front teeth and nibbles away. It is the cutest thing you have every seen. "Mini" Nilla wafers are bit size and he can eat them by the handful. Of course Goldfish, aren't they one of the major food groups for a toddler?


Binkis...he loves them in his crib and in the car, and of course when we are having a tough afternoon. They solve all major problems and meltdowns in this house. What will we do without them?



Bradley LOVES Kashi cereal. He will eat it every morning for breakfast. I guess that makes up for the nilla wafers as a snack?



Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sammy Turns One!

Sammy Whitcomb turned ONE on April 25th! We were so excited to celebrate with him and Lindsay and Tim. They had a "truck" party for him on Saturday. I played around with a bunch of the images. Tell me what you think about the pictures!
Bradley and Grandpat watching Sammy eat his cake.

Isn't Sammy cute?


Sammy playing with one of his many new toys!


Sammy playing with the step stool we gave him. It has his name as a puzzle on the top. It was such a hit, I think I might get Bradley one too!

Sammy and Grandpat!

Bradley and Grandpat watching Sammy open gifts.

Sammy is reading the directions.


The Dump Truck Cake!


I think it was good!