Thursday, April 30, 2009

The List Goes On and On

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I can't believe I haven't posted since last Wednesday, that is probably my longest break! LIFE IS CRAZY!!! To say the very least!

I haven't written anything about it in a while, but we sold our house! It actually sold quite a while ago, the weekend before Easter. But, we were waiting on the contracts to finalize before really getting excited about it. Now we have been in the beginning phase of figuring out what exactly we were going to do. We have pretty much spent the past few weekends and a lot of this week looking at neighborhoods and resale houses on the market. As much as I would love to be really close to town, we finally decided last night that we were going to build a new house. We just didn't fall in love with any of the houses we saw, enough to make an offer. There are a few possiblities for lots that aren't too far from town. So, hopefully something will work out quickly in that area.

Now, I have the grueling task of finding us a six month leasing situation until our new house is completed. There is so much on the market right now...when I pulled up leases in a certain price range there were 165+ matches. I know we will find something!

We don't have one box, and I haven't started to pack a thing. So, for the next three weeks we will be in CRAZY packing mode at our house. I was waiting to pack, because I will probably pack a lot differently if we are leasing than if we did just one move. That task along, with switching addresses, turning off stuff, I might be in and out of the blog world until the middle of June. Hopefully we will be settled into our lease and somewhat unpacked by then.

I do have some wonderful pictures from the shower I hosted this week, along with my nephew's birthday party that I want to share! So, I am sure I will be posting those soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Recipes and Randomness

Bradley actually ate green beans this week!!! I really can't believe it! I told him they were little green sticks, and he went to town. Of course last night he decided he didn't want them, and would only eat one of them. He also has a nasty little cold this week, we have already missed preschool and work yesterday and we might be at home again tomorrow. Poor little guy! So I am sure not much is tasting good right now.

Potty training is still going great! We are having three and four day stretches where he hasn't had one accident. My parents watched Bradley for us on Saturday, so we could drive around town looking at houses and lots for sale. He did great with them, and used the potty at their house. I think he is really getting the hang of it. It is funny, now he wants his privacy and he doesn't want you to help him or in the bathroom with him at all.

I missed my one year blog anniversary, it was on April 5th, 2008. My first blog post was about Bradley riding around the house in a diaper box. You can read it here. The picture below is from the first post, doesn't he look so little?? Happy One Year Blogging for Me!!!

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Since we are sick and I have no fun pictures to share...here is a quick and easy Rachel Ray Pizza that I love! You can add really any topping to it, I added mushrooms to mine, but broccoli, peppers, sun dried tomatoes would all be great!


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Garlic and Herb Three Cheese Pizza

1 tube of pizza dough, or frozen pizza dough (thawed)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 (5 oz) soft cheese with herbs, crumbled (recommend: Boursin)
1 teaspoon lemon zest, eyeball it
2 cups shredded sharp provolone cheese (found in the cheese section at Harris Teeter)
1 container mushrooms

Instructions:

Preheat over to 425 degrees

Stretch dough out and form a thin round (mine was square). Use a little flour or cornmeal of your hand if dough sticks. (Before mixing the cheeses, chop and saute any of the toppings. I just sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil while I was making the pizza). Mix the garlic, ricotta, herb cheese and lemon zest. Spread the soft cheese mixture across the pizza dough to edge then top with an even layer of provolone. Put cooked veggie toppings over cheese. Bake until crisp and bubbly-brown on top. 18-20 minutes.

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I took a picture of one of my favorite cooking tools...the microplane. You can use it to shred cheese, mince garlic, zest, and lots of other stuff. For this recipe I used it to get the lemon zest and the minced garlic.

Happy Meal Time!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bribery Works

One of my biggest parenting issues I had with Bradley was trying new foods. When he was an infant I made all of his baby food. I would steam, puree, mash everything from bananas to avocados. I would even make a sweet potato and lentil mash that he couldn't get enough of. I just thought this child was going to be the best eater and love all different types of food. This lasted for many months, until he was about 11 months old. Then he decided he didn't want any of my homemade, organic meals. He only wanted Ritz Crackers. I think there was one point where he lived on Ritz and formula for three weeks. I was so upset about it, but he would just throw such a fit and I was desperate for him to eat SOMETHING, ANYTHING!!

This picky-ness had followed into toddler hood. From that point on, Bradley dictated what he was going to eat. We were down to pretty much the following: peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt drinks, waffles, bagels, and the most important food group...chicken nuggets. I was finding myself cooking separate meals for Bradley, and I hated it. I decided last week, that if I could potty train this child at 2 years and 4 months, I was going to get him to eat better. My goal was just for him to at least try new foods, and eat some version of what we were eating.

On Monday I told him if he tried one of each thing on his plate he would get to watch ONE show on TV. He threw a massive fit, because on his plate was rotisserie chicken, strawberries, peas, and mac n' cheese. He was tantruming so bad, he asked Chris if he could go to time out. I think he knew that it would get him away from having to eat. Well, he finally decided to give it a try. He went around the plate and tried the chicken. He decided he liked it!! He ate it all! Then I told him the peas were green balls, and they were a hit too! He ate so much and did so well, he asked for more strawberries to eat while he watched his show. This was a HUGE breakthrough for us!! Since then he has eaten (and liked):

peaches
hot dogs
quesadilla
breaded chicken breast
more peas
broccoli
ham and cheese croissants
cheese sticks


Cheers to bribery, Mickey Mouse, and many more happy, healthy meals at our house!


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Dogwood Festival

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Last night we headed over to the local "Dogwood Festival" in our little town. It is basically a carnival and a parade and a lot of fun! The kids had more fun on the little playground nearby than on the rides! We met our great friends Cali and Rick for the festival. This was literally the first nice day we have had all week, so that made it even more fun! I don't know if it was the lighting or the cute kids, but I think I got some of my favorite pictures of all time last night. I loved the picture above of little Amalie. She was watching the roller coaster behind me, in complete fascination.

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This is one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken of Bradley. I don't know why, but right now he just JUMPS around the house. He says over and over again, "I'm JUMPING Mommy." This is repeated probably 50+ times a day. At first these little jumps were more like hops, but now he gets both feet off of the ground at the same time. Last night he figured out how to jump off the edge of the playground, and was so proud of himself.

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Does it get any cuter than this?

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I love this picture of Larken, she just looks so cute!

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On the Merry Go Round!

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Baby sister watching and waving nearby...

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Of course he had to ride the motorcycle!

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The duck game, pay $5 and get three pieces of junk, I mean great toys! Bradley was happy!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Thousand Word Thursday ~ Bubbles

Cheaper Than Therapy



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I actually snapped these pictures a week ago when we were in the middle of some major potty training (hence the potty sitting out on the back deck). I bought Bradley some animal bubble blowers, and they are the best toddler toy! He always loves to blow bubbles, but hasn't mastered how to blow them. These were so easy to use, and fun for him! In all of the pictures Bradley is in his undies...so cute!

Thank you for all of the suggestions about potty training at preschool. This morning went really well! I didn't let him have his sippy cup on the way to school, and we went to the bathroom right before school started. He did really well, and didn't have any accidents. Hopefully, this is a pattern and we are officially done with diapers. I would have hated to put him in pull-ups at school, after all of the hard work we have done at home.

In other Bradley news that I have been meaning to blog about...this child just loves to sing! He has been singing, "Old McDonald" all of the time. It is so cute! He just says, "Moo Moo here, Moo Moo here, Moo Moo here, EIEIO" It is hilarious! I keep trying to get some video of these amazing singing skills, but he just wants to look through the view finder of the video camera. So, I have his little voice singing the song, but no picture! Other favorite songs to sing right now are: "The Wheels on the Bus" "Row Your Boat" "Ring Around the Rosey."

He also loves to sing his ABCs. It just makes me smile!! We have been working on the ABCs for a while, and he would only go to the letter G. Well, a few weeks ago he was playing with a leap frog toy, and when the ABC song came on he sang right along. Chris and I were making dinner and just stopped dead in our tracks, because we hadn't ever heard him do that! We started clapping and celebrating! He also loves the show "Super Why" and will run around the house yelling, "SUUUUPER WHYYYY" while singing the ABCs. I really need to get that on video!

It is just so fun to see him getting so independent and wanting to do things by himself. At home, he doesn't want you to come to the bathroom with him. He says, "I go by MYSELF, Mommy." And he does! It is amazing how much they change in just two years!


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend Continued...

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Sunday afternoon we got home from the beach, unpacked the car, and headed off to Gigi and Pop Pop's house for a wonderful Easter dinner! The boys got out of the car and found the front yard filled with eggs and Easter baskets. Bradley loved looking for the eggs and blowing bubbles outside. The Easter bunny brought him two doggie bubble blowers (a really fun toddler activity if you need one!!). They just squeeze the doggies and out come tons of bubbles! We were wiped out after our beach trip and other Easter celebrations!

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I found one!!

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Daddy showing Bradley how to work the bubbles!

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Yay!! Sammy came to celebrate with us!

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Isn't he a cutie, I love those big blue eyes!!

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Sammy testing out his doggie

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We are finally back to normal this week, back to work and preschool. Unfortuneately Bradley had a hard time with potty training while at school yesterday. He has to ask the teacher to go, and walk down the hallway to the potty. I came to pick him up, and he was wearing different pants. So, I knew that wasn't a good sign. I have been really happy with the little preschool he goes to on Tuesday and Thursday morning, but the potty issue has been a little dissappointing. I felt that they weren't 100% supportive. As soon as I started telling his teachers about his potty training, they told me that a lot of children regress at school even when they are fully potty trained at home. They said they would give him one more day (tomorrow) in underwear and then he might have to go to school in pull ups. I really don't want to do that, I feel like it is confusing to be in a diaper two mornings a week. Thoughts? Suggestions? They said that he kept asking to go to the potty and would do a little bit. But, he just seemed more excited about flushing the potty. So, I'm not sure what to do. My sister suggested bringing in our potty and putting it in the bathroom. I thought that might be a good idea. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nags Head Adventures

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This holiday weekend we got to take an amazing trip to the beach with Chris's whole family. It was so much fun to have everyone together and be at the beach too! We had some great weather, and a little bit of rain. We spent quite a bit of time down by the water, playing in the sand. The water was like ice! Bradley got to be the center of attention for three days, which I know he enjoyed. Grandma even brought him his own Easter basket and special goodies. I took a bunch of pictures on Friday when the weather was beautiful. We took a two mile walk down to Avalon Pier. Bradley loved watching the people fishing, and even got to see them reel in a few fish!


Here are some of my favorite shots:

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Bradley and Grandma headed down to the water

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Quality time out on the porch swing!


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The whole crew relaxing in the sand


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A few scoops and a bucket, and this little boy is happy!


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The walk to the pier was pretty far, so Bradley got to ride on a few shoulders!


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Rebecca and Adam


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Collecting sea shells


I can't wait to go back this summer, Bradley was so into the beach! He wanted to play in the sand, but he was still a little afraid of the water. Thanks Grandma for organizing the troops, it was a great time! We miss you all!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Spice Thief

Someone has been sneaking around the house getting into stuff...

I'm not sure who it is??

But he is a little over two years old...

He doesn't seem to make a sound ....

That's when you know it is time to go looking for him!!!

(is this what they mean when they say, "Terrible Twos"??)



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The Crime Scene: One half eaten croissant and
a beloved dolphin that goes EVERYWHERE with two year old suspect...

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Spice rack pulled opened and a large pile of spices dumped on the floor

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More Evidence: Three spice jars completely empty

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Just so the investigators can see the damage done at the crime scene

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We found our suspect and he was sentenced to TWO minutes on the step

My Dad is at home and doing fine! Hopefully we are on the mend!

In other two year old news, Bradley did excellent at Katie's House yesterday with the potty training. Only one small accident over there, but that is the first time we have left the house. Chris took Bradley with him to work yesterday to check on some things while I was teaching step class. We met for dinner and Bradley did AWESOME!! No accidents, even on the 25 minute car ride home. I was a little worried because Chris left the house with just one extra pair of undies, no pants, or socks. Could have been a total meltdown with wet pants and socks in the cold weather we are having. He just said, "I have confidence in Bradley, we didn't need any extra clothes." I hope we are that lucky today when we go to 'The Little Gym.'


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Perspective

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Well, I was going to post about; bubbles, potty training, two year old mischief, etc...but a phone call can put everything into perspective.

When your mom calls and says that your Dad is in the hospital your world changes. I first say, "My Dad?!" I guess in the past two years after losing three grandparents, I am used to my Mom and Dad referring to their parents being hurt or sick. I wasn't sure who she was talking about? Once it sunk in that he was having chest pains and shortness of breath, I started to get worried. My Dad doesn't like to admit that he isn't feeling well, and he doesn't willingly go to the hospital unless he is feeling really bad.

Thanks to my good friend Katie for watching Bradley this morning, I was able to go and visit him for a little while. They have decided to discharge him this afternoon and he will have a few more doctor's visits in a few days. But, until then I am just keeping everything in perspective. I am Thankful for all of our blessings...family, health, and happiness.

We love you Pop Pop, Get Well Soon!!

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