Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lazy Sundays

We get the Greensboro paper on Sundays only, for the coupons and store flyers, but Mat always flips through the paper itself too. Braeden likes to look at the paper too, really he likes the flyers and calls it the paper. So, here's a couple pictures of my two guys reading the paper together. :)

Look at those eyes, that serious stare. Beautiful.

Oh, and sometimes Braeden doesn't like to wear pants!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Matthew's b-day party

If you read Gage's blog, you know we went to Matthew's birthday last week at Kidsport (the same group that runs the Tumblebus). We had a great time! So many of Braeden's friends were there--Alex (one of his best friends who moved up to the next room a few months ago), Makena, CJ (whose party we went to at CiCi's last month), Zander and his older sister, Isabella, the other Brayden, and a few other kids we didn't know. Inside Kidsport is a giant facility with areas where kids can do different activities. There was a pit filled with foam blocks that the kids could jump into and then "swim" through, a couple areas with mats for flooring that were set up with different activities (trampolines, slides, etc.), and areas that were more gymnastics-oriented.

The kids started out with a sitting around a parachute. The instructors led them in some stretches then they all stood up to flutter the parachute. Braeden had ZERO interest in this. I remember doing the parachute thing at an annual gym show in elementary school. Fun. So I was a little sad that Braeden wasn't interested in playing along. We actually had a hard time with him at the beginning of the party because he wanted to stay in the foam block pit and the instructors wanted to keep all the kids together.

After the parachute, they moved the kids over to a different area where they had a ... set up. They swung from a rope, went over an obstacle, jumped on a trampoline, and walked across a balance beam. They were supposed to do each activity in a certain order, one at a time, but they're three so they skipped around to their favorite activities and jumped onto the trampoline with their friends. It was wild!

Bray was a champ on the balance beam...he must get that from Mat! I know they walk the balance beam at Tumblebus sometimes, so he's gotten lots of practice.

Here's a cute picture of Braeden with Makena. I should have run around to the other side so I could get Braeden's face, but things were pretty chaotic so I took what I could get.

When they were done with this, they had another circuit set up with a bar the kids could hang from, a couple tunnels to crawl through, a slide, and a ladder to climb up. This circuit ended with the kids jumping into the foam block pit. Braeden did the circuit four or five times! And each time he jumped into the pit, he would count to 10 first. He loves counting and he loves being absolutely sure everyone is watching him!

The party ended with lots of snacks (chips, cheese and crackers, grapes, cheetos) and cake. Matthew's mom ran over to me as we were getting ready to leave with a present for Braeden. She's a very sweet woman (remember her worrying we would double-book their parties??) All the kids got to leave with a helium balloon, so Braeden was thrilled. This was also the day we had the snow, so it was fun for me to watch the snow come down the whole time we were at the party. And Gage slept through the whole thing in the Moby. He woke up as we were getting ready to leave. Perfect timing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NFC Champs!

At the start of football season there are 32 undefeated teams. As the 17 weeks of the season go on, there are ups and downs, wins and losses, injuries and bad calls until the 32 teams are whittled down to 12 for the playoffs.

The Giants went 10-6 in the regular season. It wasn't enough to win their division, but they did clinch a wild card spot in the first round of the playoffs. Everyone bet against them, but they beat Tampa Bay in Tampa. The next week they went to Dallas where they were the definite underdog. They took on Tony Romo and Terrell Owens at Cowboys Stadium and beat Dallas soundly. And they were on their way to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers for the NFC Championship game. Huge. Brett Favre, Lambeau Field, sub-zero temperatures. Again, everyone assumed the outcome of the game was a given...Favre would run away with the game and kill the Giants. Well, the funny thing is, the Giants beat the Pack in overtime to win the NFC Championship game. The Giants are going to the Super Bowl in two weeks!!

Who would have guessed?! Not me. Not my dad. Certainly not the oddsmakers or the sportscasters or the ridiculous sports bloggers and fantasy footballers. But Braeden, their biggest fan, he knew.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bye bye ponytail!

This post has absolutely nothing to do with Braeden, but I wanted to post the pictures and this is one of the only places I have to do it. So, here's the story...

For a very long time my assistant Michelle did not cut her hair. It was crazy long, all the way down her back and very thick and curly. Michelle told me she was going to cut it. She made and canceled several appointments. When I asked her about it, she said her mother wanted to take pictures of them together and wanted Michelle's hair long in them. One day Lisa asked her about it too and learned that Michelle was actually going in the next day to get it cut. And she was donating her hair to Locks of Love.

While I was pregnant, I let my hair grow. And I liked having it long because I could pull it back in a ponytail really easily. So, here's a picture of my hair that I took this morning.

One of the days when I was pregnant and bored, I wondered how long my ponytail was. I had Mat measure it and found it was only 7 inches. But as the months went on, and my hair grew longer and longer, I knew I could keep growing it until it was long enough for Locks of Love which requires a 10-inch minimum. After I had Gage, I was really ready to cut my hair off. I measured the length and I was finally ready. I made an appointment for this afternoon.

Here's my hair now:

It will never look this good again! She dried my hair with a round brush and used a flat iron to be sure it was really smooth. I've got a hair dryer, round brush, and a flat iron but I will not be able to do this. The back of my hair is incredibly short and stacked. But fortunately I had a little more length in the front so it looks longer.

All that's left to do now is wait for my ponytail to dry then ship it off to Locks of Love. It's funny because this short cut in going to be A LOT MORE work than my long hair, but I really love the cut.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smiling Face

Last night I was taking a couple pictures of Gage and I didn't want to make Braeden feel bad, so I took this cute one of him playing Brown Bear-Panda Bear What do you See, a game he got for Christmas.

Braeden is really good at the game. It's like a memory game. There are a bunch of animals on tiles. You flip one over and if it matches the tiles in front of you, you keep it. If not, you put it back and the next person chooses a tile. Instead of putting back tiles that don't match his pictures, he gives the tile to you so you make a match. He doesn't understand winning and losing, so it's very sweet to play with him.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Quality time

Here's a post that I could have put on either blog or that would work perfectly if I combined my two blogs into one. Jury's still out on that one, by the way. Turns out google doesn't have a feature that allows you to automatically merge two blogs together. If I want to do it, I'll have to copy and paste each entry from Gage's blog into Braeden's. Anyway, maybe one day...

We decided to start tummy time with Gage. Actually the smart start nurse told us we should start tummy time now, so we have. Mat put together the activity gym the Merritts gave us at the shower yesterday. After dinner tonight I put Gage on the mat on his tummy and put one of the little toys next to his face so he had something to look at. He was fine for about five minutes or so, but then he started to complain loudly about his position. I flipped him over on his back and he was much happier looking up at the toys hanging from the bars.

And that's when Braeden decided he was a baby too and he ought to lay down on the mat next to Gage. Aren't they the cutest? I love that they're both looking up in the first shot, like maybe Braeden is showing something to his baby brother.

And in this one, they're looking at each other and Braeden is smiling. It's easy to imagine they're laughing at a joke or something.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Spider Spud

This post is for Abi. She and Jeremy gave Braeden a Mr. Potatohead for Christmas. It's a special spiderman edition, so it came dressed in a spiderman costume with special eyes and hands that have a web attached.

When he first opened it, Braeden was scared of the spiderman version. Once I took the mask off and showed him how he looked with regular eyes, nose, and ears Braeden felt better. It took about a week for Braeden to get over his fear of spider spud. Now he loves him!

And one day Braeden decided he wanted to wear Mr. Potatohead's glasses. Here's the picture!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Happy birthday, Braeden!

My little boy is three today. And if he heard me call him a little boy, he would correct me very indignantly. I not a little boy, he would say, I a big boy! And now he's three.

I made chocolate cupcakes last night with white frosting for him to take to school today. They also gave him a birthday crown to wear during his little party. Unfortunately, Braeden got a bad report card today from his teachers. He got in trouble for not listening and for talking back. Yesterday his report card was fair because he was disruptive during naptime. We're working on teaching him about consequences (a word he's heard at school). Hopefully we'll see some positive effects from this.

After dinner tonight, we brought out the birthday cake Me Ma had made for Braeden while she was here at Christmas. I lit his candle (a 3) and brought it to the table. He was very excited to blow out his candle. And instead of eating his cake with a fork, he just picked it up with his hands. He ate most of the piece I gave him starting with the frosted top. When he was out of frosting, he announced he was done leaving the bottom of the cake on his plate. Smart kid!

After cake, Braeden opened birthday presents. Magnet letters and a sorting shape game from Me Ma and P Pa; a Melissa and Doug wood block puzzle from Debbie and Don Thorpe; and a Diego doodle pro from Abi and Jeremy. Braeden also got cards from Mark and Jenn, Joe, and Mat's Uncle Stephen and Aunt Helen. He loved his gifts and was very excited to put the magnet letters on the fridge. We're going to start working with him to spell out words like CAT and his name. Since knows all his letters and knows what letters to use to start to spell certain words, this seems like the next step for him. Fun!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another Christmas

Mat's parents came up on New Year's day to meet Gage and celebrate Christmas with us. They gave Braeden a black and decker tool bench. He loves it. Me, not so much. Or at least I'll love it when the batteries die and the thing doesn't make any more noise. Even with no batteries there are a ton of tools Braeden can play with. He tells us he's building our house and then plays with the screwdrivers and hammers. Sometimes the tool bench does double duty as some kind of kitchen appliance. Cute.

Braeden has been asking to hold Gage, so I set him up on the couch and positioned Gage between his legs. Carol snapped this nice picture of my two boys together. Aren't they sweet?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas morning

Here are some pictures of Braeden from Christmas morning.

In this first one, Braeden is making sure he got everything out of his stocking. Nanny got him that stocking with his name on it last year for Christmas. I still remember sitting on the floor of my parents house with him and that stocking was packed full of presents. Braeden didn't understand at all, so we pulled everything out and opened most of it ourselves. This year, we hung our stockings on the mantle and Braeden has been looking at them and talking about them for more than a month. He loved pulling presents out of his stocking and opening them. He didn't love that we wouldn't let him eat all the candy that morning, but he did get to open a package of little cookies and eat a few of those before breakfast. Such good parenting, right?

Here's a shot of Braeden opening one of his presents. I think this was a Diego book from Aunt Abi and Uncle Jeremy. (I say I think because Christmas morning I had a really good handle on who had given us what gift. But then I went and had a baby and now I'm afraid all the presents are a little jumbled in my head!) Aunt Abi uses WAAAAAAY too much tape when she wraps. We joked about it a couple times and Braeden picked it up, so all morning when we would tell him we were opening an Abi present, he would tilt his head to the side all-serious and say Abi uses too much tape. :)

In this picture Braeden is wearing a hat Me Ma knit for him. After he opened it, he put it on and didn't take it off for a very long time. What's so funny about this is that Braeden is awful about hats. We've bought him several baseball caps over the years but he has refused to wear them. He likes to wear P Pa's hats sometimes and thinks it's funny for a minute to wear one of daddy's. So this was amazing. It's a beautiful blue and knit from very soft yarn. Doesn't he look adorable?!

One big happy family in the blogosphere?

Mat suggested tonight that I combine my two blogs into one. He's right, I know that. I'm just not sure how to do it. And to be honest, I feel a little bad for Braeden. I know that's crazy since he doesn't even know what a blog is, but I started with his blog and have been at it for 2 and 1/2 years now.

If I combine blogs, Little Boy Braeden goes away and I have to come up with a clever new name for the combo blog.

I know I've been neglecting this blog and posting more on Gage's blog, so maybe by combining blogs I'll actually spend more time talking about the big brother than I do now.

I really do think it's for the best. I just need to figure out how to combine the two. So maybe I'll hold off for a little bit to see if inspiration strikes.