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!