Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Train Mister Conductor"

DSC_0564

I haven't had a chance to blog since Monday, because our week has been jam packed with a ton of Halloween activities. Monday morning we got to go to a local play studio and dip our hands in lots of fun Halloween messes. Bradley was so excited to wear his "Train Mister Conductor" costume out of the house!!! For some reason this is his official title for his costume. At school today was another Halloween party. He marched into school and told his teachers that he was a 'train mister conductor.' Hilarious! When we got home on Monday I took a few pictures of him for his birthday invites. He was so adorable in the photos I wanted to share them with you. Couldn't you just eat this little boy up??!!

DSC_0562




DSC_0558

On Tuesday we went over to Larken's house for a little Halloween celebration. Cali made Halloween cookies for the kiddos and they did a great job decorating them. Of course we had to wear the train conductor outfit over there too!

DSC_0568

Last week the boys carved and decorated a pumpkin. Bradley was much more entertained and interested in the carving process than last year. He told Chris where the eyes should be, and what the mouth should look like. He still wouldn't stick his hands inside the pumpking to clean it out. I tried to get him to help me find all of the pumpkin seeds to roast, but that wasn't going to fly either. Bradley kept saying, "it is too sticky, mommy." This boy is such a clean freak!

DSC_0531




DSC_0532


DSC_0536




DSC_0545

He loved lighting the candle and watching the pumpkin glow! I can't believe Halloween is in just a few days. I think this little boy is ready for some 'trick or treating!'

Monday, October 26, 2009

Marine Corp Marathon...Whooo Ra!! (Updated with New Funny Photo!)

DSC_0549

My amazing and beautiful sister in law Kim completed the Marine Corp Marathon on Sunday!!! She finished in 4 hrs 21 minutes!!

Chris and I really wanted to go and see her in the race, but we weren't sure about bringing Bradley. After getting up there we are so glad that he didn't make the trip. The crowds were really thick and scary through the metro. Chris and I even had a hard time staying together and finding Kim at the end of the race. Kim had NO idea we were coming up to watch her. So, we waited for her on the sideline and Chris jumped out in the race and ran a mile with her. She couldn't believe it!

DSC_0011

Kim just sent me this photo of Chris and her running, how hilarious is Chris's face?!
Then Adam ran with her until the end of the race. I am so proud of this girl. She just decided she was going to run the marathon. She didn't do the training with a team or anything, she just trained on her own. She said it was worth it in the end, but she isn't sure that she will run in another one.

Bradley got a special treat, and spent the night at Gigi and Pop Pop's house for the first time without us!! He did a great job and has been talking about them all day today. We took the time without him to do all of our birthday and Christmas shopping for Bradley. We are concerned if the house sells and trying to get everything done for the holidays and Bradley's birthday. I am going to try and wrap most of the presents this week and pack them away. His big birthday present is...

Zippity_Learning_System-lifestyle_shot

The new Leapfrog Zippity! I read a bunch of things online about this new leapfrog toy. It is supposed to be very interactive and fun. It comes with eight games by Disney, most of which have characters Bradley loves. I am excited to see if he likes it!

For Christmas we really splurged and got Bradley this entire Thomas Roundhouse Set. Bradley is just so in LOVE with all things trains, and especially Thomas. He won't need another Thomas train for ever! I can't wait to see his expression when this huge Thomas is under the tree! Whew, I am feeling better about Christmas coming around the corner!!

thomas


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Contract?

Remember in March when I got really excited and posted this?? Then we hit some bumps in the road here? With the housing market being what it is, we have definitely tried to be patient about the house selling. So, for the entire rest of the summer and into the fall I have continued to keep the house clean and organized. I have been accommodating for all of our showings, and we might have found a match!! Our house went under contract on Monday AGAIN! We are a bit more encouraged about this prospect and are hoping that they are the new 'owners to be'...


BUT, we are keeping it very realistic and trying not to get ahead of ourselves. We still have a lot of things to make it through before moving day. We have begun to talk about where we will be living while we are building our new home. We are really looking for a short term lease situation which narrows our possibilities. Hopefully (fingers crossed) we will be moving in just a few short weeks, and begin planning and dreaming of our new home.

IMG_0170


Chris built our home three and a half years ago. It is a beautiful floor plan on five+ acres of land. It is just a lot MORE house and land than we have the time or energy to take care of. With our family growing I would like to be more centrally located to our town, i.e., closer to good grocery stores, better schools, preschools etc. I feel like I spend a great deal of my time driving back and forth from town. The closest elementary school from our house is over 45 minutes away. That isn't even including bus time. I will miss this house and the land, but we are excited about being in a better school system with a neighborhood feel. We are really looking for a community that offers a lot of amenities and we have a few places in mind to start looking. Although I will be sad to be out of our house for the holidays, I know great things are in store for us! Maybe someday we will build another house like this away from town with lots of land and landscaping to keep us busy. When our kids are older and we can pay them to mow the law (lol). But, I am just interesting in having less and living MORE. I want to have time on the weekends to play together as a family, and not watch Chris mowing and trimming the law for 3+ hours.

Please be thinking of us in the upcoming weeks. The last contract really was hard on Chris and I. It was really devastating to unpack and pick up the pieces. We are hoping that this will be a great fit for everyone!

Now off to get ready for date night!! YAY!! We are headed out for dinner and to catch the new Vince Vaughn movie "Couples Retreat." Chris and I love him, and can't wait for some quality time!

couples-retreat-poster-0


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something to Rave About!

Now that I am finally getting my energy back, I am trying to blog a bit more. I finally got around to changing my header for Halloween. Bradley is a big fan, what do you think?

One_Lovely_Blog_Award

In other exciting news, I actually got a blog award from Houses, Couches and Babies. Thank you so much for giving me a blog award! It has been a while since I received any, and I know I haven't been blogging too much either. I am going to be a slacker with this one, and just say "Thank You" without passing it on. I know that isn't very fun, but I just have been barely keeping up with my same blogs and haven't been reading any new blogs lately. I hope you don't mind:)

I have been thinking about posting some of my favorite books for kids and for me to share with you. Bradley LOVES to read any and ALL books. I even recently uncovered a huge selection of non fiction books that he has requested every night. But some of our favorite fiction books are:

the napping house

repetitive story line that is great for retelling.

click clack
All of Doreen Cronin's books are great. This is the beginning of a few that are all about Farmer Brown and his crazy animals, so fun!

wolfs
a folk story that has a surprise ending

alice the fairy
David Shannon is every kids favorite, and this is great for your imaginative children

strega nona
Bradley just saw this picture, and screamed "The Spaghetti Book!"
A wonderful book for any age, with a great lesson to boot!


Some of you may read my sister's blog often and she is an avid reader. She is always posting about her favorite books and what is on her bookshelf. I thought I would copy the idea and tell you about some of my recent RAVES and misses in the book world. I LOVE to read, and will drive Chris crazy by staying up entirely too late to read a book. Then I will feel terrible the next day. Why do we do that to ourselves? One book that recently kept me awake at night, and ignoring my family on the weekend was:

south of broad

Pat Conroy's South of Broad. This book creates such an amazing set of characters and friendships that you are instantly hooked by the first chapter. It is based in Charleston, which I love and follows this group through 20 years of friendship. From desegregation to the AIDs epidemic in the 80s. It has a little bit of everything. Captivating, and I would highly recommend it !

love the one you're with

I finished this book while I was at the beach a few months ago. A quick and easy and fun read. Keeps you turning the pages like all of Emily Griffin's books, but I still loved Something Borrowed and Something Blue the best of her writing.

atlas book

I got this book at the beach, and it was OK. I was about three quarters of the way through when I decided that I didn't like it, but I felt compelled to finish it. I did, but I already gave it away on the paperback swap. It was interesting about the culture in India, but just didn't do it for me.

belong to me

I just started this book. It is good so far, any recommendations out there?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cravings and Pregnancy Must Haves

I can't believe I am 16 weeks pregnant! This pregnancy has been a breeze by many standards. My friend from high school, Laura from The Land of Syd is pregnant too! We are due a few weeks apart from each other! She has been doing really cute posts about her first trimester (which was much more trying than mine). But I thought it was a great idea to jot down some of the funny and not so funny things about being pregnant with baby #2! (So, Laura I hope you don't mind me copying you on this one:)

As I mentioned before my first trimester was pretty smooth. I was mostly just VERY tired and EXTREMELY hungry. So hungry that I would eat breakfast and need a four course meal about two hours later. I was also SO hungry but NOTHING tastes good. Don't you hate that? I would fix the most fabulous meal, and then look at it and wonder what I was thinking. I know Chris's Mom will gag when she reads this but I've really craved .....

eggs


EGGS!!!! And I mean eggs cooked ANY way you could think of....scrambled, omelets, egg biscuits, egg fritatas, egg salads, and especially the egg and cheese everything bagel from Bodo's. Bodos is the most delicious bagel place in town, with great soups and salads for cheap!

egg bagel

The egg obsession hasn't completely ended. I am still obsessing over eggs, and I just made huge batch of egg salad the other day. My Dad called me just as I had finished carefully peeling and chopping up my beloved eggs for my salad. While I was on the phone I realized I was out of mayo!!!! We live too far away to hop over to the grocery store and I was seriously distraught. My Dad asked, "Clare, is that really the worst thing that has happened today??!" I guess it has been a while since he has been around a pregnant woman craving food. I actually took poor Bradley across the street looking for mayo (they didn't have any). Oh, the stress!!

carrots

On to the carrots....oh I am in LOVE with carrots this pregnancy. I have had carrots at least three times a week with dinner. I was buying smaller bundles of carrots and would get annoyed with Chris and Bradley for eating them. So, I decided to buy the enormous bunches of carrots! I will cook a ton of them with butter and a bit of brown sugar, and I am in heaven!

Don't worry I have also been craving some horrible things like....

nutella

Nutella!! Oh this little friend is evil, but so good. I will cut up strawberries or apples and spread a bit of nutella on the slices. Yummm! I sat down after dinner and ate an entire bowl of strawberries, while dipping them in nutella. Chris just stared at me like I had lost my mind. I think men just stay out of our way, and make no comments when the pregnancy hormones have kicked in:)

skittles

The most recent obsession has been skittles. I have finished two bags in the past two weeks. I will fill up a small bag after dinner and munch away. This poor little baby must be getting a sugar high each night. I am hoping this obsession will end soon, it isn't a good one!

Although I have made it through my first trimester, I will say I still don't feel 100%. I have been suffering from afternoon headaches that will leave me needing a nap or some serious couch time. I don't remember having such horrible headaches with Bradley. This week they seem to be lightening up, but my back has been killing me. I will have shooting pains when I get out of the car or move a certain way. I am hoping that it is just where the baby is positioned right now, and will soon pass. Last but definitely not least has been the full on baby indigestion. I had this so BADLY with Bradley, but not until much later in my pregnancy. It has hit me early and hit me hard this time. Mylanta is already my new best friend. Anything and everything seems to set it off, and it is just the worst. I felt like an 80 year old women this weekend between my back aches and my indigestion.

Poor Chris has been amazing and put up with me, all of my aches and pains, and my serious egg eating. I just feel so blessed to be going through all of this, I know it is so worth it in the end. And it is fun to just laugh at what we do and eat while pregnant!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Amazement Square

DSC_0500

More adventures from the weekend...


We were supposed to be picking pumpkins on Saturday, but the weather was rainy and yucky so we headed to this awesome children's museum called "Amazement Square." We have heard lots of great things about it, and it really lived up to all the hype. It was four floors filled with lots of fun things for all ages. Bradley learned to milk a cow and pick corn in the barn area.

DSC_0503




DSC_0506

We spent a while playing with the shapes on the light wall.

DSC_0512
My favorite part of the museum was the 'paint room.' Kids could paint all over the walls, and once it gets really messy they just hose the place down. I wish I had one of these at home. I love the picture below. I had to turn off the flash to get Bradley's sweet face in the picture.

DSC_0518

DSC_0522
We did spend most of our time in the boat area. Bradley loved watching his boat float down the river through the waterfalls. Even though it rained, it ended up being a really fun day.
In other news I have been in the baking mood...I made an apple pie last night and banana bread with chocolate chips...yummm!
We are headed off this afternoon for a playdate at the mall in the 'germ pit.' Should be fun!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Apple Doughnuts, Need I Say More?!!

DSC_0474

Little Bradley and I had a blast on Friday at the local Apple Orchard! We got there early and enjoyed a little apple doughnut picnic....yummm! It was definitely a picnic with a view!

DSC_0476

Once Chloe met us on the mountain we trudged off to find some yummy apples. Luckily I confiscated an apple picking pole, or we would have been out of luck. The orchard had about a million elementary schools there for field trips. And the sections they had open for picking were really picked over! We definitely had to use the pole to get any of the good apples. I made a yummy apple crisp this weekend, and I am going to make apple pie tonight for dessert. Yay! I love this time of year.

DSC_0486

Riding in the wagon looking for apples...did I mention it was the HOTTEST day ever? Greta and I were sweating trying to pull these two around with bags of apples in the wagon!

DSC_0489
Hayrides!! Of course Bradley takes the most adorable picture while I haven't showered and sweated my tush off! Figures!


DSC_0495
Cutest Worm Ever!



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ooooooo....Spooky Crafts

For some reason I have gotten really excited about Halloween this year. Halloween had lost its excitement after my childhood...got a little bit more fun in college again (or was that the drunken football games against WVU while dressed in costume?)...and it now really exciting again through Bradley's eyes!



IMG_1023

Bradley's first Halloween was less than magical. He got a terrible, yucky flu that he so lovingly passed on to Chris and I. We spent his first Halloween hunkered down, throwing up, and just plain miserable. I actually dressed him up a week later and took these pictures outside just so I would have some sort of Halloween memory for his baby book. Sweet Baby Pumpkin!


IMG_4685

As you might remember last year he was just big enough to knock on a door and say "Happy Halloween" in his little two year old language. He went to one house and then spent the rest of Halloween hanging out with Gigi and Pop Pop. So this year we are going ALL out. We are thinking of hitting a few neighborhoods with the grandparents and some with friends. We have been reading Halloween books and talking about the whole holiday. Bradley can't believe that you say "trick or treat" and people give you candy. Can we say this little man is EXCITED?!! I actually haven't hung up all of my decorations yet. We have a showing this week, so I decided to wait until this weekend to start decorating. But we did....



DSC_0461

give our staircases a spooky look with spider webs. Bradley LOVED this and will show you where all of the spiders are hiding, I love it!


DSC_0463

We also bought some fake pumpkins at the craft store and covered them with lots to ghosts and bats. So cute and easy!


DSC_0464

I also bought a few more pumpkins and let Bradley paint them however he wanted. Let's just say we are making a BIG deal out of Halloween this year. I am really excited about it!

We are going apple picking on Friday and to the greatest pumpkin patch on Saturday. We will truly be in the witching spirit after this weekend. It is so fun to fall in love with the holidays again through your child. I love it!