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.