Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poor Little Boy Braeden

His blog is really getting the short end of the pregnant stick, isn't it?! It's not that he isn't still the cutest kid in the world. And he still does adorable things all the time. And yet he can also be the naughtiest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. It's just hard for me to maintain two blogs, get everything done at work, and get all the sleep I need at night.

So, here's a big catch-up post to give you an idea of what's been going on in Braeden's life. (The worst thing about not posting is that I've mentally posted...when something happens, I think of what I would say about it on the blog, but then I don't actually commit the post to the blog. Bad mommy!)

Braeden got invited to his first birthday party. I didn't realize three was the magic age, but he's since been invited to a second party. Actually, I think the second party was today. Oops! Anyway, the party last weekend was for C.J., a little boy in Braeden's room at school. He's cute, not one of Braeden's bestest friends, but still cute. Mat had to go to traffic detention last Saturday morning in High Point (yes, Mat got a speeding ticket!), so Braeden and I were on our own. The party was scheduled for an hour starting at 12:30 at CiCi's Pizza in Burlington.

I had never been to CiCi's but I know now one of the layers of hell exists right here in Burlington. It's a pizza buffet that serves crappy, dry pizza; salad, if you call iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar, and some anemic toppings and ranch dressing salad; and dessert pizzas and cinnamon rolls. Fitting the hell moniker, it was HOT, crowded, loud, and overrun with wild, out-of-control children hopped up on caffeine and video games. Braeden ate two tiny slices of pizza and a huge piece of Spiderman birthday cake. And he played in the video game room...they had these racecar games where you sit in a seat and drive the car with a steering wheel. He and Matthew, one of his best friends, had a great time (with no money involved) jumping from game to game driving the racecars. C.J. opened his presents and the whole thing was over around 2:00. I was glad we went, but I was also exhausted afterwards and convinced that I would never willingly go back to CiCi's!

Isabella's party is at the Little Gym, so I think the kids would be doing gymnastics like on the Tumblebus. And again, I think it was today, so now I feel bad for not responding to Isabella's mommy. Isabella LOVES Braeden! He likes her but she really, really loves him. To Braeden, I think she's just one of the girls in his entourage.

Matthew's mom asked me Friday if we would be having a birthday party for Braeden this year. Mat and I really hadn't thought about it. We clearly didn't get the memo that three was the magic age for the party craziness to start! I told her we hadn't thought about it (bad mommy moment #2) and she said she wanted to check because Matthew and Braeden's birthdays are so close together and she didn't want to doublebook. How sweet is that?! Anyway, they're thinking of doing a party on January 19. I assured her that wouldn't be a problem. So there's party number 3. 3 of how many??

Another cute thing I can tell you about is Braeden singing the tumblebus song. He first sang it for us about 8 or 9 months ago, but he clearly didn't know the song very well. He slurred a lot of the words together and got about half of them wrong. But now, now I think he's got it! He's so proud of himself when he sings the song for me. And I love the way he sings it, so I ask him to sing it a lot. I'll shoot video of him singing it sometime soon. I'll even try to post it so everyone else can enjoy it too!

You might remember that we had a lot of issues when we first sent Braeden to day care with state mandates for stuff. Most of the issues had to do with breastfeeding and how much the state mandated had to be in a bottle. Well, the state has stayed pretty much out of our business for the last couple years until now. Turns out there's periodic testing that the state does. If they've done it before, they haven't told us about it. But this week, someone from the state came in and tested each kid and we got a copy of the completed form when they were done. I love tests (I know, I'm weird), so I was very excited to have the results of Braeden's first test.

They asked each kid to recite the alphabet and then circled how many letters he got right in the right order. He got them all! They tested to be sure he could recognize each of them visually and he did! He was able to count to 10 and he correctly identified all the colors they showed him. He pointed to all of the body parts they asked him about except for his ankles, throat, chest, and shoulders. The weird thing here is, he totally knows where his shoulders are and points to them frequently, so I don't know how he missed those. His teacher told us he was the only one in the class to know all his letters, numbers, and colors. He can't cut with scissors but he can follow two-part directions. (Not something we see him do much at home, but it's good to know he can!) So, I feel pretty proud to have such a smart kid!

Anyway, I think this should be enough to tide people over for a while. I'll do my best to type up the posts I write in my head rather than just think about them.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble gobble!

We had an interesting Thanksgiving. This was our first time celebrating as just our small family. It's always weird for me not to be in Rhinebeck for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday, but it was nice, different to just spend the day with Mat and Braeden.

I brined our 14-pound turkey for the first time this year. Brining makes for a much moister and more flavorful turkey. Me, I like my turkey dry but Mat always complains it's like chewing shoe leather. So I gave brining a shot. It came out great! With the turkey, we had gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and cornbread. Yum yum!

Braeden couldn't wait until the turkey was ready, so he had peanut butter and jelly for lunch then went upstairs for quiet time while we had our turkey dinner. He was sooo tired! Of course he wouldn't sleep though. The nap came later. After quiet time was over, he came downstairs to watch football with me. He wanted to lay down with his head on a pillow and his blanket over him. And within minutes, he was asleep.

Mat and I ate our Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves...but with constant interruptions from the little boy upstairs who was supposed to be having quiet time in his room with the door shut.

Here's the picture of our Thanksgiving table.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Finally! The long-awaited Halloween post is here. I finally downloaded the photos of Braeden in his bumblebee costume to the computer and I can now show you how cute Braeden looked that night.

He was the one who picked out his bumblebee costume at Target one day with Mat. And he seemed really excited about Halloween and if anyone asked him what he was going to be he very proudly replied bumblebee. He even went bzzz bzzz! Then the night of Halloween came and he would not put his costume on! My plan was to pick him up from school a little early so we could get home, get the costume on, and do our trick-or-treating before it got too dark. Best laid plans...

Braeden refused to put the costume on. The doorbell rang and a two-year-old in a dinosaur costume was on the other side of the door. Our almost three-year-old completely freaked out. He was in a panic. He pulled me over so that I fell on the floor and he was practically screaming. The dinosaur looked pretty nervous, but not nervous enough not to take a piece of candy from our pumpkin. This dinosaur didn't help our cause!

We had dinner and more kids came to the door. And you could practically see the wheels turning in Braeden's head. Wear costume...ring doorbell...say trick or treat...get candy. Hmmm...I like ringing doorbells...I like candy...I'll have to suck it up and wear the costume, then I can ring the doorbells and get the candy! It's a plan.

So, he refused to put on the black tee shirt and black pants I bought to go under his costume. But since he'd finally agreed to put the costume on, I didn't care that we did it over his Giants shirt and jeans. You'll see in the photos, it looks silly, but it's on. We finally headed out the door, in the dark, and hit the houses on our street.

We really have the nicest neighbors; Halloween confirmed that for me. Shaler and Michelle (who are expecting a little girl in April!) brought over a BIG bag of candy of Braeden because they were going out to dinner. Shaler is not the kind of guy who's going to hop up every five minutes to give out candy. The rest of our neighbors were home (except Braeden's bestest friend Tasha who must have been out doing her own trick-or-treating) and let Braeden have as much candy as we would let him take. Our neighbor Laura was the designated candy person, but when she saw that it was Braeden, she called Rob out to see him. Rob never seems like a kid guy, but he's incredibly patient with Braeden and always stops to talk to him or admire Braeden's rocks, cars, or sticks. When we finished with the houses on our street, Braeden was so impressed with his haul, he wanted to keep going but it was bedtime.

Each night after dinner, if Braeden hits all his dinner, he gets to have a piece of his candy. He absolutely LOVED those mini Hershey kisses with the candy coating. He had 5 or 6 bags of those, so he ate them for a week. He doesn't really discriminate though, he ate Reeses' Pieces, a crunch bar, a lollipop, whatever we gave him, he ate.

And now, here's the picture of our little bumblebee! Bzzz Bzzz!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So much to say

Over fall break we always go to the beach, and this year we met my parents in Virginia Beach for a long weekend. Virginia Beach is about a four hour drive for us. It's always funny to me that it takes less time to get there than it does to go to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. That's just weird to me.

Me Ma and P Pa bought Braeden a bucket and shovel so he could dig holes and fill his bucket with water to make mud pies. Braeden did not want to get wet. He loved the sand and liked having water in his bucket, but he was not interested in dipping his toes in the ocean. He did think it was funny when P Pa brought handfuls of water to him to wet his toes. That was okay, but the waves were very scary to him. The weather was great, in the 70s each day, and the water was still pretty warm so it was nice to stand in the surf.

Mat and I went out to dinner one night and left Braeden with Me Ma and P Pa. We had a great meal sitting outside on the boardwalk watching the ocean. The only downside to the evening was the fighter jets that flew overhead. In fact, they were always flying overhead. We couldn't help but think about how much money was being wasted each time one of them screamed overhead. Braeden enjoyed watching them, but they truly drowned out all conversation! We also saw helicopters and regular jets. And there was a speedboat that towed parasailers with a giant multi-colored parachute. Braeden loved all of them!

This was Braeden's third trip to the beach and each time we've been, I've made sure to get a family photo. Braeden was too busy during our big trips to the beach to sit still for a posed photo, so the last thing we did before we got in the car to leave Tuesday morning was head to the beach for the picture. Big mistake! Braeden wanted to take his shoes and socks off and play in the sand, but we knew we had a four hour drive ahead of us and didn't want to do it with a sandy Braeden. So he was pretty upset with us! It took a LONG time to calm him down. Then we got this first picture of Braeden, Me Ma and me.

When he was calm enough, I got my family photo at the beach.

And on our way back to the parking garage, I snapped this picture of Braeden with Me Ma and P Pa because I just thought they were so cute!

Last weekend we went to the Razz and Tazz Farm with Grandma and Grandpa Pete. We walked through the corn maze and played in a mini-silo full of dried corn kernels.

Braeden rode on the cow train--individual cow cars towed by a big tractor. You never know with Braeden, but he LOVED the cow train! He rode it three times.

Braeden climbed up to the top of a stack of hay bales and loved sitting up so high!

We walked through the corn maze once, but Braeden ran ahead so far I had to send Mat running after him. I was worried Braeden would cut through the corn and get lost in the maze instead of staying on the path. So we just walked the maze the one time. On our way out, we bought pumpkins for the front yard. One big pumpkin and four small ones (Braeden loved picking out the small pumpkins and putting them in the wagon).

The biggest thing to happen, though, is Braeden's newfound success on the potty! Thursday and Friday the day care put Braeden in real underpants so that he would have the motivation to pee on the potty and keep his underpants dry. He had an accident each day, but each day he also peed on the potty. But this weekend he was a real champ! He kept a pull-up dry all day Saturday and Sunday. He would tell us he needed to pee and we would head out to the kitchen where we'd put the potty. He needed a little help getting his jeans down, but then he peed on the potty. I didn't keep track, but he probably peed five or six times Sunday! He was so proud of himself...he loves flushing the pee down the toilet and picking out his three M&Ms afterwards! We're looking forward to seeing his progress continuing at day care this week. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


When Mat woke Braeden up this morning one of the first things he did was tell his daddy he needed to go potty. Mat helped him out of his PJs and diaper and Braeden went to sit on the potty. He asked Mat to read him a book and Mat reminded Braeden that we didn't read on the potty until after he peed. And then Braeden peed on the potty!

He got to eat M&Ms this morning and wear a pull-up to school! And he made his mommy and daddy so proud!

Is this progress? Too soon to tell.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Naked weekend

I'm typing this downstairs on our couch; Mat and Braeden are still sleeping. Periodically, from upstairs, I hear a loud thump. I keep expecting Braeden to wake up since the thumping happens when he slams some part of his body into the wall, but he seems to sleep through it. I always worry it's his head he's bumping, but sometimes when we check on him we find his feet or legs resting against the wall. So I console myself with that knowledge and hope he's not giving himself a headache or brain damage.

Braeden spent most of yesterday naked and will likely spend today the same way. Mat took him for a haircut in the morning then to the grocery store. When they got home around 10 or so, the clothes and diaper came off. Mat noticed the diaper was dry. We brought his potty down to the living room and spent the rest of the morning reading books, watching cooking, and playing. I would remind him about the potty but he seemed completely unconcerned about it or a need to pee. He ate lunch (naked) and we went back to the living room. In an effort to tip his hand, I kept offering him drinks. Water before lunch, chocolate milk after lunch. Finally, around 2:30 or 3:00, four to five hours after the diaper came off, the kid peed in his potty. He was very excited and we clapped and cheered and told him how proud we were!

After his M&Ms, he asked for a pull-up so he and Mat could go outside to play. After dinner, we took the wet pull-up off. Mat had asked him outside if he needed to go to the potty, but Braeden always said no. Clearly he's still not ready to tell us and give up peeing on the go.

Braeden had his bath and took up his usual post-bath position on the potty. But this time, he actually peed! I promised him his M&Ms this morning since he had already had his teeth brushed. But I was very surprised that he peed at all. He sits on the potty every night after bathtime and never produces anything!

Sunday will be day two, naked. But whatever progress we make at home, I can't help but worry it will all be undone at school. Braeden refuses to sit on the potty at school. I honestly think some of it is obstinence. But I believe some of it is not wanting to miss out on something when he's in the bathroom. He needs to start understanding that he's going to keep losing his friends one by one as they move up to the next room. He's already lost his bestest friends Alex and Tristan. Who's next?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bad dreams?

We had a weird night last night...Braeden was in bed at 8:00, a little bit later than usual because we went out to dinner (at Red Robin!) and then called Me Ma when we got home to wish her a happy birthday.

Around 9:30 I hear Braeden's little voice calling Mommy! I look up and he's standing at the gate at the top of the stairs. When I get up there, all he'll do is whine and tell me he wants to get up. He wants to do something else (other than sleep). He wouldn't let me pick him up or help him back to bed. Mat came up and neither of us could get him to calm down. Finally I took him in the other bedroom and we climbed onto the futon.

After a few minutes, we took him back to bed and thought he was down for the night. Again. But about 15 minutes later, I heard his door open again. I looked up and he was just standing at the gate staring down at me. I went upstairs again and this time ended up bringing him downstairs with me because he agreed to get into my bed.

But first he wanted a drink of water, not from my glass, but from his own cup. With ice. Then he wanted to watch Mat brush his teeth. Then finally he climbed into bed with me and got under the covers. He LOVES to be covered up. I think I fell asleep and Mat took Braeden back up to his own bed. And this time, he stayed there the rest of the night, even sleeping later than usual.

This morning Braeden told Mat he had a bad dream then heard a loud noise on the TV and that's what woke him up. Maybe he was dreaming about the big bird at Red we were getting ready to leave, there was a person in a robin costume walking around the restaurant. Braeden was terrified and refused to go near the big bird. The purple balloon he got on on the way out the door helped a little, but you could tell he was still stressed about the bird because he kept mentioning it the rest of the night.

Don't tell Mat, but I never mind having Braeden in the bed with us. He's so sweet and warm and it reminds me of when he was a baby and slept with us.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Dentist

I took Braeden to the dentist this morning...what a nightmare!

He seemed interested in going, was perfectly happy to climb up into the big chair all by himself, loved the taste of the grape toothpaste when the hygienist offered him a taste, and even liked it when she tickled his hand with the spinning toothbrush. The good times ended there, though!

Because that's the moment the hygienist raised the chair up and lowered the back. Braeden freaked! He was out of the chair and in my arms in a split second. I calmed him a little, then climbed in the chair myself. We tried to brush his teeth sitting up but he wouldn't open his mouth or hold still. After a minute or so, we gave up and resolved to try again after the dentist came in.

When the dentist came in, he reclined the chair again. This time Braeden was lying on top of me. It took two hygienists and me to hold him down long enough for the dentist to check each tooth for cavities. None, by the way!

When we sat up, my cheek was wet from Braeden's tears. He had basically been crying the whole time begging me to help him. After the dentist left, we tried one more time to clean his teeth, but finally I just told them to stop. He was having none of it, and I knew I couldn't take much more of the screaming either.

Braeden perked up when he realized it was over and he could choose between a Spongebob toothbrush and a Dora one. He picked Spongebob...could be because Spongebob was on the TV when he came in!

We'll try again at our next appointment in April.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Just a quick note to say that we've had no more success on the potty. Braeden had the flu last week (mostly a low fever, runny nose, and bad cough), but he had some higher fever spikes and was pretty uncomfortable and miserable most days. It wasn't a great time to try for more potty success.

He's also deep in the throes of the terrible two's, so he's not that much fun a lot of the time. He doesn't say no that much, he just ignores us and our requests/orders. He's truly uncooperative about picking up toys, washing his hands, sometimes even about eating. He still sticks by his "mommy do it" guns which makes everything harder for Mat.

We know he's just testing us and himself, but it's frustrating all the same. We just take it day by day and try never to take for granted the sweet moments we have with him.

A couple of his favorite things right now are stop signs and school buses. It's great that school started last week because we see a lot more buses now. We can't drive anywhere in the car without Bray asking each of us if we like stop signs. The right answer is yes. Not answering the question at all means he'll just keep asking until he finally gets an answer!

Monday, August 27, 2007


I'm almost too excited to type!

Braeden peed on the potty this morning! I was showering...I can't believe I missed it! But Mat went up this morning when Braeden woke up, helped him out of his pjs and diaper, and then read books to him while Braeden sat on the potty. (Our morning tradition) When they finished reading, Mat told him it was time to get up and get his diaper on, but Braeden told him he was peeing. Mat looked, and sure enough, Braeden was!

When Braeden was done, they went in the bathroom and flushed the pee. When they came downstairs, Mat gave him three M&Ms! I came out a few minutes later and saw Braeden holding the M&Ms I knew immediately that he had used the potty! I gave him lots of kisses and told him how proud I was. And I told him that he's like Michael now (the little boy who learns to use the potty in the book)! Braeden seemed very proud of himself too!

I told the woman at school that Braeden had used the potty at home and asked her to encourage him to do it at school too. We're just so excited!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Wow! Finally! Braeden sat on the potty tonight! No diaper!

A while back we bought a potty book and have been reading it almost every day for weeks. Braeden loves the book and always looks really excited when Michael gets his potty. But even with the book and our third potty, he had no interest in sitting on it.

Tonight after his bath I went upstairs to help him into his pjs and I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty. And he did! But he wanted to sit on the potty with the lid on, so we did that for a little bit first. We talked about what colors his potty were, then I showed him the shapes on his seat and how soft and cushy it is. When he finally sat on the open seat, Mat and I clapped and cheered. Braeden thought that was great, but then he jumped up, closed the lid again, and sat down. So we stopped cheering. We did this over and over again until I honestly thought that was all that would happen tonight.

But we kept showing him that we were excited when he sat on the potty the right way and nothing would happen when he sat the wrong way. I asked him if he wanted to read a book. Mat suggested we read the Michael potty book, so Braeden ran naked to get it and when he came back, he sat on the potty to read it. We read four books with Braeden on the potty!

Nothing happened, but at least he was sitting naked on his potty! We talked to him about doing it again tomorrow morning, so hopefully he'll still be excited about our excitement and want to do it all again.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Too cute

I'm the first one to admit that I've had issues since day one with our day's not that I worry about Braeden while he's there because I think the care is top-notch. But there are things that bug me. There's one woman in particular, actually, who moved out of the baby room and into the three-year-old room. I'm hoping she moves again before Braeden has to move up to that room. But leaving her aside, Friday the teachers in the two-year-old rooms did the sweetest thing for us parents.

When I picked Braeden up that afternoon the teacher gave me a CD with his name on it. Later that night I popped it into my computer and found that it was full of pictures of Braeden and a powerpoint slideshow of all the kids in both two-year-old rooms. Each kid got a few minutes of screen time and at the end, they included pictures of the kids enjoying the everyday stuff--popsicles, water play, etc. I thought I'd post a couple of my favorite pictures here so everyone could enjoy them like Mat and I did!

Hopefully this isn't a sign that Braeden will be into basketball when he grows up!

I love how sullen he looks in this photo.

On days they eat popsicles, Braeden is a sticky disgusting mess when we pick him up. It's nice to see how cute he is actually eating the popsicle, rather than just dealing with its sticky aftermath!

Every Thursday, the kids have water play day. We take in a swimmie diaper, swimmie trunks, and a towel.

Now that we know the kids lay out in the sun on their towels to dry off after water play day, we feel terrible that we've been sending Braeden with such a tiny towel. From now on, that kid gets a full-sized towel for water play day!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trip down memory lane

Remember this picture? Braeden and some of his friends were going for a walk around the day care one day and I just happened to be there to snap the picture with my camera phone. Braeden's sitting in the front with Matthew. Behind Braeden is Hudson who no longer goes to our day care. I took this in September 2005, so Braeden was nine months old.

The other day I went to pick him up at school (we don't call it day care anymore). The stroller was sitting just outside the front door and Braeden insisted on getting in. I couldn't help but take a picture to capture the moment. He's so big now and you can just see so much of his personality now.

Big time

I can't believe I haven't posted about Braeden's big boy bed yet...

Two weekends ago we bought a twin bed, box springs, and frame. We took a look at Rooms to Go Kids but didn't see anything we liked. Is it just me or is the furniture at Rooms to Go hideous? The stuff seems so cheap. We would have been fine at the kids place if we wanted to give Braeden a jungle gym bed (with a slide!) or a princess bed. Not our style, besides we want him to understand that beds are for sleeping not playing in the middle of the night.

We settled for the basic set-up and it was delivered a couple days later. Mat stayed home one day to set it up, then we showed it off to Braeden. I tried to take pictures of his first time on the bed but he was too excited to sit still! He LOVES his bed. Last night he called it his cozy bed. Too cute.

We were worried it would be tough for him to adjust, but that first night he did great. He always wakes up a time or two at night and needs one of us to come up and tuck his feet back under his blanket or wipe his non-runny nose. The only difference now is that he can climb out of bed, come to the gate at the top of the stairs and call down to us.

One night I was watching TV and felt like I was the one being watched. I turned around, looked up, and there was Braeden holding his pig. He never said a word, and I have no idea how long he was standing there. It reminded me of our trip to Charleston. The first night we were there, I woke up and felt something behind me. When I rolled over, Braeden was standing right next to the bed holding his dog and staring at me. It would be a little creepy if he weren't such a cute kid!

Monday, July 16, 2007

For the love of art

A LONG time ago an Elon senior sent an e-mail to all Elon faculty and staff asking for their help with a senior thesis project. She was a photography major and wanted to take pictures of Elon faculty and staff with an object that mattered to them. I'm sure there was more to it than that, but since this is all about Braeden, her purpose doesn't really matter. Right? Right.

I volunteered because I'm an all-around good person and campus citizen. And I knew right away that my "object" would be Braeden. I checked with Rhiannon to be sure she was up for a two-year-old boy and she was game. We chose a time on a Saturday and I took Braeden to the art studio for his close-up.

Rhiannon had a couple standard poses she was asking everyone to do (sit on a stool, stand next to a stool, etc.) and then asked if there was anything else I wanted to try. Since I had brought a couple of books with me and Braeden absolutely LOVES story time, that seemed like a natural fit for the two of us.

A month or so later, Rhiannon brought a proof sheet to me to review. I had to pick one photo for the art show and write a couple sentences to explain why I chose that particular photo. I can't remember my exact words, but I'm sure I said something about Braeden's love of books. And this is the photo that hung in the senior art show. We all went to the opening to see Braeden made famous! We ended up seeing a lot of Mat's students (and told them all to go see Braeden's photo) and a few of his faculty colleagues as well. It was a very well-attended opening and a lovely display of photos of people I knew but maybe didn't know in that particular context. Many of the others chose family mementos or photos for their objects or something that represented their personal or professional persona. It was a very heartfelt project and each of us who participated felt great to help a student and share a little bit of ourselves with the rest of the Elon community.

Oh, and because I'm a diehard Giants fan (as is Braeden!), he had to wear his Giants jersey for the photo. Always representing the home team!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I've been remiss in not blogging about last weekend yet...we had some drama as Emily would say!

Friday night while Braeden was eating dinner in his high chair, the stupid lopsided chair finally broke. The leg snapped and fortunately Mat was right there to catch the chair before it went down completely under the weight of a screaming 30-pound kid. I ran out from the living room and snatched Braeden out of the chair to comfort him while Mat cleaned up the floor. Poor kid almost took a header onto the kitchen floor just like one of Britney Spears' kids. Surely this just confirms us as better parents than Britney! (Like there was ever any doubt!)

So, Mat and a calmed-down Braeden went to Baby Depot and then to Target to find a new chair. We didn't want to spend a ton of money, but we wanted something that would fold down like the kitchen step stool. They chose this one by Evenflo. So far, so good. It's working well for us. The tray is much easier to slide off than the old one.

And of course, we had to take advantage of the free disposal service that is a construction dumpster in the neighborhood. As long as they're still building houses here, we've got free disposal of all big, unwieldy, unwanted items. I've been trying to keep this story alive in Braeden's memory by talking about it, so I figured he ought to have the chance to see the high chair in the dumpster for himself. And of course I had to snap a photo for the blog. What I won't do for my loyal readers!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Washing Dishes

Mat was washing his car a couple weekends ago and Braeden went outside to help him. For some reason, he decided he was washing dishes when he was playing in the bucket of soapy water. Braeden would run into the garage and come back with more dishes to wash. It was hot and sunny, so I'm sure he really liked playing in the cold water. And he loves bubbles, so this was a great combination!

And this picture shows what happened when Braeden started clapping his hands...he realized he could make the bubbles fly (like onto Mommy who was trying to keep the camera dry and take pictures at the same time). He's got bubbles in his hair and on his clothes. Mine too!

It's about time!

Quite a long time ago, Me Ma and P-Pa bought Braeden a little rain jacket at Sam's Club. She called me very excitedly from the store to ask if a 2T would be too big, what color would I like best, was it okay to buy him the jacket. So, when the jacket arrived, I tried to get Braeden to try it on so we could be sure it would fit. I figured I could take a picture so Me Ma and P-Pa could see it on B. Unfortunately, like he does with every new piece of clothing or shoes, Braeden freaked out about the jacket. When I came near him with it, he would start screaming and crying about how he didn't want to wear it. "No like it!" he would say over and over. If we tried to force it on him, he would struggle, scream, kick, and thrash around on the floor to avoid wearing the jacket. Instead he would only wear his brown fleecy, zip-up jacket Don and Debbie Thorpe had given him for Christmas. Well, finally, the weather got too warm for fleece and we packed that jacket away. And one day, when it was raining, we FINALLY convinced him he had to wear a jacket. This jacket. We got it on him, and he wore it all day while running errands. He even looks happy to have it on in this picture! And as you can see, it should fit him for a while. He'll be wearing it next fall as it starts to cool down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


We really built this trip up for Braeden, telling him all the time that we're going to Charleston. As we were packing, we'd ask where we were going and he would say "Going to Charleston" very cutely. We knew he was interested in what we were doing but that he didn't really understand we were going on vacation. The drive down went pretty smoothly. We had planned to drive straight through, but it was obvious Braeden wanted a break from his carseat. We stopped around noon for lunch at McDonald's. Amazingly, Braeden didn't insist on french fries...he ate apple slices, chicken nuggets, and drank milk.

When we finally arrived in Charleston, we took Braeden to the aquarium which is right on the harbor. It's absolutely beautiful on the water. We could look out on the Ravenel bridge which is a cable bridge that's 3-miles long and has a pedestrian walkway. Mat and Braeden ended up walking half-way across the bridge Thursday morning so Braeden could see the boats and the water. Just inside the aquarium there's a giant tank with local fish and a big turtle. Braeden LOVED the turtle and followed it around the tank. I loved the turtle because he would snap at the tails of the fish as they swam by. I got some great photos of Braeden watching the turtle.

Me, I made friends with a very sweet duck. She swam right up to me and quacked at me so sweetly. She didn't leave my side for almost five minutes.

The thing I was most worried about this trip was how we would get Braeden to sleep at night and for naps. We just had one room and we had brought an inflatable bed for him. Mat set it up that night and Braeden was happy to jump on it. After his bath, I pulled Braeden up into our bed and we cuddled under the sheet together. We both fell asleep and later Mat transferred Braeden to his own bed. Sometime later (I thought it was MUCH later), I woke up suddenly to see Braeden standing by the bed staring at me holding his dog. Since I thought it was close to dawn, I pulled him up into bed with us and put him between us. The next morning (after a fitful sleep being kicked and pushed around by Braeden) Mat let me know Braeden had joined us at 2 AM. Oops! The next two nights we did much better, so the sleeping arrangements actually worked out pretty well. Naptime was a little more interesting because it meant I got to take a nap too, but we got through it.

To save a little money, we brought cheerios, fruit, and juice for breakfast.

Thursday morning we went down to the Market and wandered through all the stalls and shops. It was a beautiful morning and so nice to be outside. There were so many carriage tours and Braeden loved to see the horses. I love the baskets locals make out of sweetgrass but I can't afford to buy one. Even the tiny ones cost a fortune! We had lunch at A.W. Shuck's then ran back to the car in the rain to beat the meter. Charleston is terrible for parking! It costs a fortune! We also played on the steps of the Customs House.

After Braeden's nap, we decided to head to Folly Beach to walk on the beach and play in the surf. Timing being what it is we stepped onto the beach just as the lifeguards were clearing the beach due to a big storm coming. As the huge raindrops started to hit us, we ran up under the covered pavilion and right into the midst of seven lifeguards. With the beach cleared, it was just us and them. They took pity on us and invited us into their tiny headquarters to ride out the storm. And what a storm it was! Thunder, lightning, wind, and rain. The lifeguards (and Mat) started shouting and jumping around exitedly when one of them noticed a waterspout had formed directly in front of us. Mat tried taking pictures, but they didn't really come out. Here's one of the storm though.

The lifeguards were great with Braeden...they really liked having him there. One guy gave him his bag of cheez-its which Braeden devoured! And he had a great time playing with the red floaty thing lifeguards use.

I spent Thursday at the conference. Mat and Braeden walked halfway across the Ravenel bridge that morning. The bridge takes you from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant, and it's a beautiful bridge! It's part of the view from the Aquarium too. That afternoon Mat took Braeden down to the battery to see the boats and play in the park down there. There were a number of gazebos (or rainbow houses as Braeden calls them) for them to play in and statues to climb on. When I got back from the conference late that afternoon they were playing in Marion Park just across the street from our hotel.

Friday morning Mat and Braeden went back to the battery to play in the park while I finished up the conference. Much to Braeden's utter delight, Mat took him to lunch at Moe's two days in a row!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Charleston updates

We took Bray to the aquarium yesterday when we got here. We had a great time and Bray really made friends with the fish.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On the road

We are on our way to charleston now. Doesn't Bray look more relaxed already?

Monday, June 11, 2007

I don't know where he picks these things up...

Braeden's got a new favorite saying. Very spontaneously, he'll look at Mat or me and say, "I've got plans for you."

Where did that come from? It's too cute! If you ask him about the plans, he's got nothing to say. But just the fact that he says it at all, is so adorable. You can't help but laugh when a two-and-a-half year old tells you he has plans for you!

Friday, June 08, 2007

On a happier note...

Braeden's moving up to the older twos room. Actually, almost every kid in the younger twos room is moving into the older twos room at the same time. It's one of the nice things about our day care...they tend to move kids in groups so they stick with their friends. Today is their last day in their current room, so they're having a moving up party. We made chocolate chip cookies and Braeden was so happy to carry the bag in this morning. It actually meant that he would walk under his own power into the day care rather than insisting one of us carry him.

Monday morning he'll move into the room next door with Heidi. Braeden already knows Heidi because she's in his current room each morning. And the older twos and younger twos play outside together a lot of the time, so he'll still to get to see his friends who didn't move. Like Makena. Her mom is very upset that Makena will still be in the younger twos room. And I'm sad for Makena that she won't have Braeden around all the time.

We got to school yesterday to pick up and Braeden and Makena was just coming out with her mom Robin. When she saw us, she got this huge grin on her face and pointed at us. I couldn't tell what she said because she had her paccy in her mouth, but I bet it was something like Braeden's mommy. She's such a pretty little girl. I hope she moves up soon so she can be with Braeden again.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Just a warning up front...this post is going to get a little graphic!

Saturday when Braeden got up from his nap, Mat asked me if I thought Braeden had been touching his nose more than usual. He's been on a kick recently about picking his nose. I just figured it was standard procedure for a 2 1/2 year old boy, which is what I said to Mat. But Mat, the scientist in the family, thought he had observed an increase in this behavior over the last week or so. We asked Braeden if we could look up his nose (just the beginning of the gross stuff!) and he agreed. Bray very sweetly looked up at the ceiling; we had him sitting on the second stair, so we had a good position to look. Mat saw something. Me, I saw nose, but Mat was convinced he saw something. We gathered our tools--the nasal aspirator, a flashlight, and my eyebrow tweezers--and took another look with better light.

Mat's even more convinced there's something up there, and I'm just as convinced it's just nose. We ask Braeden to lay down on the floor. He agreed, mostly because I'm sure he had no idea what was in store for him next. Mat used the aspirator and sucked something down but not out of Bray's nose. We hit his nose with the light and now I could definitely see something.

"It's corn!" Mat shouted. I was willing to admit there was something, but I was not convinced it was anything that wouldn't normally be found in a nose. Mat kept aspirating, then tried to grab the object with the tweezers. Unfortunately it was too slippery and it slid deeper into his nose. And in case you were wondering what Braeden was doing all this time, he was SCREAMING!

After a couple more minutes of this torture we gave up. Mat said the thing I was thinking which was maybe this called for a trip to the emergency room. As I comforted my screaming kid, we agreed to go to the local urgent care place. Poor Braeden...we'd been telling him he could go to the park that afternoon. He did not understand how we ended up at a boring doctor's office.

We checked in at 4:15 and didn't get past the waiting room until about 6:30. A very nice nurse heard our complaint and checked Bray's vitals. If you ever wondered, he has a blood pressure of 80/60. Apparently that's normal for a kid his age.

At about 7:00 we heard lots of conversation among the doctor and nurses as they searched for a nasal speculum and forceps. This was it! A woman doctor and male nurse came in to our tiny exam room and we put a screaming Braeden on the table. I was responsible for holding his arms over his head which also served to keep his head pretty straight. She looked up his nose and saw the object, then set about extracting it with forceps. It only took about a minute, then it was out.

Turns out Mat was right. It was a kernel of corn! Now then, you're probably wondering how our little Braeden got a corn kernel in his nose...

About a week and a half ago, Bray woke us up in the middle of the night with his crying. When we got up there, we found he'd thrown up in bed. I'm responsible for changing Braeden and quieting him down while Mat takes care of changing the sheet and checking animals for throw-up. I try to spend as little time as possible looking at/smelling the vomit. Apparently, I'd served corn with dinner that night. Mat's theory is that Braeden aspirated corn into his nose when he threw up. So that kernel of corn has been in his nose for more than a week! It didn't seem to affect his breathing or sleeping. There was no loud snoring or funny snuffling to his breathing.

If you read this far, you should probably get a prize. Hopefully the story wasn't too disgusting to share on adorable little Braeden's blog. Oh, and if you were wondering about the state of my tweezers...Mat boiled them for five minutes to sterilize them. Even so, I'm a little grossed out about the idea of using them to pluck wayward eyebrow hairs. Maybe I'll have to treat myself to a new pair!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bad Dreams

I asked Mat to write about Braeden's bad dream because he was the one to hear Bray crying in the night. So, here in his own words, is Mat's story:

Bray has been waking up once almost every night between 1 and 3 am, I’m not sure why. Normally, I just have to go upstairs, give him his blanket, and tell him that it is nighttime and that he needs to go back to sleep. After this, he is usually quiet until morning. Tuesday morning, this didn’t work though. When I heard him, I went upstairs and he was sitting up in bed, wide awake and yelling. He kept looking over the side of the bed and crying “jeep! jeep!”. He was inconsolable for probably 45-60 seconds, then he suddenly got this look of awareness on his face, and immediately settled back down to bed and fell asleep. I suppose he must have dreamt that he lost his jeep (one of his favorite toys), and once he realized he was safe and sound in bed, he could settle back down again.

More Tumblebus Tricks

Braeden's tumblebus report card said he had learned how to do sit-ups, but when we ask him to show us he refuses. Sometimes he says okay (one of his most favorite words that comes out more like otay thank okay). And then he gets into a push-up position. He doesn't actually bend his arms to do a push-up, but he does assume the position. It reminds me of when he was a baby before he could crawl.

I found this picture from August 2005 of Braeden in his push-up pose, so I thought I would post it again. Now he can actually lift his head to look at us and smile proudly. I'll try to get him to do it for the camera one day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Braeden learned how to do somersaults at Tumblebus. He's known how to do them for a few weeks now, but he wasn't getting all the way over. He kept falling to the side. We finally realized that he needed to have his head very close to his feet in order to flip over right. Here's the end result!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bray must've had a really tough day at school because he fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Funny story

There's this other great mom of one of Braeden's friends at school, Robin. Her daughter Makena is a little bit younger than Braeden, but they've been in the same rooms for their two years. Makena is a beautiful little girl. Very slender and very, very blond and pale. She still LOVES her paccy, like it's permanently attached in her mouth. Robin is pregnant again, due in mid-June and is one of those pregnant women who just looks perfect.

Anyway, Makena cried when Braeden moved up to the two-year old room. The day she moved up, I'm sure she was ecstatic! Most days, Braeden plays with Makena and Alex, one of the other little girls in his room. Today I ran into Robin on campus (she works for one of our vendors). We were talking and she asked if I knew what had happened the other day. I assumed it had to do with Matthew, the thug of our day care. He beats her up, bites her, pulls her hair, and steals her toys. But this story was about Braeden.

I guess it was last week, Braeden stole Makena's paccy out of her mouth and threw it over the gate, just out of reach. Makena was screaming for her paccy, having a total meltdown. I can only imagine how funny Braeden thought this new game was. Apparently fun enough that he did it again yesterday!

I felt terrible. And since Robin and I had already talked about what a bully Matthew is, I was worried Braeden would be heading down that path. But Robin thought it was funny. She's very slowly trying to break Makena of the paccy habit, so Makena isn't even supposed to have the paccy outside.

Today when I went to get Braeden, I saw him running towards the opposite end of their playground. Then I watched him throw a toy over the fence and run back to me. Maybe throwing stuff over the fence will be more fun than eating sand, rocks, or mulch and he'll give that game up for good!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Recent Pics

I thought it would be a good idea to post some recent pictures of Braeden. He makes that scary, toothy grin every time I ask him to smile. And that kid LOVES his Giants shirt! He asks to wear it a lot, and even has it on today (with shorts!).

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mommy do it!

Braeden is insistent. He was such a go-with-the-flow baby that it's amazing to see him turn into such a stubborn kid! He knows what he wants and when he wants it. And right now, he's absolutely insistent that mommy has to do just about EVERYTHING. Unless mommy doesn't do what he wants, then he'll start calling for daddy. Or Emmy (is that my friend Emily or Elmo's babysitter Emily?). Either way, I know he's mad at me when he does that.

Lately, mommy has had to be the one to change diapers, to hold him, to put him in his highchair, to get his juice, to do it all. Sometimes he tells Mat to leave us and pushes him away. Poor Mat. He takes it in stride though. And when the day comes that Braeden would rather talk about cars or tractors or some other hideously boring topic, I know I will remember these mommy do it days and wish Braeden was two again!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Driving the truck

Braeden and I went to the Children's Museum Sunday while Mat was doing auto cross. He won his class, by the way! Even got a trophy! Poor car didn't get to take a victory lap, though, since Mat and Braeden were in a minor fender bender Monday morning on the way to day care. They're both fine, the car, not so much. Mat's got a loaner for the week while his car is in the shop. The other driver ran a red light in Gibsonville, but fortunately neither of them were driving too fast so the outcome wasn't so bad.

But anyway, at the Children's Museum Braeden wanted to drive the fire truck. So I snapped this picture to send to Mat so he'd know what we were up to that day. We had a great afternoon at the museum. Braeden played in the sand for about 45 minutes then sat in the fire truck for another 45. He did not want to come home!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

How cute is this kid?! He's wearing a new outfit from MeMa and P-Pa and his baseball cap.

We had to go to Lowe's today for bird seed. While Mat went to get the seed, Braeden and I hung out with the tractors. He really liked this John Deere one!

When we finished our errands Saturday, Mat took the groceries into the house and Braeden and I sat on the driveway.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mommy, come here

I know when I hear Braeden say those words in the morning over the monitor, it's time to head upstairs. When Braeden wakes up, we can hear him rustling around first. Then the talking starts. He has a lot to say first thing in the morning. I guess for a while he's just as happy talking to the dog, pig, and Elmo. But after a while, he gets bored of that. That's when he starts saying Mommy, come here. And he'll say it over and over again until I show up.

I love that he's 100% certain I'll come up.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Under there

One night this weekend Braeden and I were sitting on my bed talking and listening to music. We had already taken his shirt off since we were getting ready for bath time, so I asked if he wanted to get under the covers. He said yes, uh uh, his new catch phrase, and we snuggled under the blanket. Braeden thought this was so funny! He loved being under there with me. Then he would peek out from under the blanket and laugh. He still loves hiding, and I'm sure he thought we were completely invisible under there.

Now when we're in his room lying on the floor at bed time, he asks for the blanket. Under there, he says. I pull his quilt off the crib and we put it over our heads. Sometimes Daddy is allowed to stay under with his, but sometimes Braeden pushes him out!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Beach Photos

I LOVE these pictures I took in Beaufort and at the beach!

A dock like this one goes for about $150,000! But wouldn't you just love to sit at the end of it and listen to the gentle lapping of the waves slapping your sailboat?

Here's the boat of my it wrong that it makes me think of Pacey on Dawson's Creek?

And this is the boat I could afford now!

A very nice woman got out from under a blanket and took this picture for us before we headed home. It was about 40 degrees on the beach that morning and windy. But it was sunny and beautiful, so it was well worth the trip.


This is a great photo of MeMa and Braeden after his bath.

Braeden doesn't love brushing his teeth, but it went a lot easier when MeMa brushed her teeth with him!

Here's MeMa and P Pa reading books with Braeden before bed.