Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rock on!

I got this e-mail from Mat just now. And my first thought was to post it on the blog. 98% of the content on the blogs comes from me. I'm not complaining. I love blogging. And as a control freak, I'm pretty sure it would drive me nuts to visit the blog and see Mat had posted something random. But Mat has different experiences with the boys and a different perspective on them, so I do get a little sad sometimes that we're not preserving his side of things.

This is a perfect example:

So, remember that I told you about that day when Bray was an infant and I was home with him (he was sick) and we grooved out to White Zombie on VH1 Classic? I found the video here:

With all the color and motion you can see why he was so darn transfixed and smiley when he saw it. This is why I love White Zombie, they are metal but also groovy and totally trippy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Naughty, naughty Braeden

I'm back to thinking about combining the blogs...I know, is anyone NOT sick of hearing me go back and forth over this? I'm certainly getting sick of thinking about it...

Anyway, I've always said that I've loved every age Braeden has been. And it's still true, I love having a four-year-old. There are so many amazing, adorable, wonderful things Braeden can do. He's a loving big brother who wants to take part in Gage's upbringing. He is funny. Hysterical, in fact. He's so smart. And perceptive. He's loving, adventurous, timid at times, carefree, charming, rough-and-tumble, and loud.

He's also stubborn. It's not a bad thing...I certainly respect him for it. How could I not? He comes by it honestly from both his parents. :) But, oh my, is it annoying! And troublesome. We're lucky that he has more good days than bad ones at school. But those bad days? They're really bad! He got in trouble earlier this week for playing under the table at lunch, talking back to his teachers, and playing in the bathroom while his friends were in there. That was just one day! He lost his Hess truck dump truck for that. He also lost his after-dinner treat and cartoon time.

At home he gets into trouble for not listening, for yelling when we ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, for talking back, and for a litany of little things. The other day I went into our downstairs bathroom and noticed little bits of toilet paper floating in the heating vent. He had ripped up toilet paper and dropped it down the vent. When the heat ran, the little bits floated. Clever, certainly. Naughty, definitely. Mat had noticed it the week before but thought it was accidental. Mat was mad enough to spit when we realized it was a game he was playing.

People always talk about the terrible twos. Honestly, two was nothing. A walk in the park. As he got closer to three, that's when we started seeing deliberate naughtiness. And now he can be downright bratty. Again, he comes by that honestly. Mat can attest. I'm a brat. :) But I'm pretty sure our house is only big enough for one brat, and as the mommy I lay claim to that distinction.

The upside to all this naughtiness is that when it's over he is genuinely contrite. He will apologize so sweetly and explain that he will be super-polite the next day at school. What does that mean? Always say please and thank you. His apologies always come with a hug, and he gets very upset if you don't acknowledge his efforts.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Our favorite game

I don't know about you but I reread my own blog posts all the time. All.the.time. I can't help it. Today I was looking back at posts around the time Braeden turned one. I was looking to see when he started talking (late March, early April). And I found this post about playing "Where's Braeden?"

Now it's three years later and we're still playing the same game! He'll hide under a blanket or in the fort he's made out of couch cushions. "Mommy. Say where's Braeden." And I say it while looking for him in bizarre places.

Is he in the freezer? Noooo. Is he in the cabinet under the sink? Noooo. Is he under the entertainment center? Noooo. I give up. Where's Braeden?

And that's when he pops out of wherever he was hiding. Did I mention he giggles the whole time??

So much fun.

Monday, January 12, 2009


We've got a gate at the top of our stairs that we keep closed at night. I'm pretty sure Braeden sleepwalks, or at the very least is very, very slow to wake up. Even though he's great on the stairs, I worry he'll sleepwalk and fall down them or not be quite awake enough to navigate them. And the gate is our last line of defense. When he messes around at night and gets out of bed 10 times, the worst he can do is turn the light on upstairs and stand at the gate. He's contained. The same is true in the morning. When he wakes up, Mat and I still have a few minutes to get ourselves together before we have to deal with him or Gage.

Not anymore.

Saturday morning Mat woke up with a start which woke me up with a start. Braeden was standing quietly next to the bed staring at Mat. It was just like that night in Charleston. I wonder how long he stood there before we woke up...

My first thought was that we had forgotten to close the gate. Mat asked how he had gotten down the stairs, and Braeden said he opened the gate. We were both shocked. Braeden told us that's what fours do. Fours open gates and come downstairs. (Fours is day care speak. Braeden must hear it a lot now that they've combined all the fours together in one big room with two teachers.)

We put Braeden in bed between us, but he didn't want to lie there quietly or fall back asleep. Instead he went upstairs and woke Gage up. Nice, huh?

Sunday morning he did the same thing again. But instead of going up to wake Gage up, he played "quietly" in the living room which woke Gage up. It was 7:15 both mornings, but seriously. Sleeping in would kill him??!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

My oh my!

Sometimes I'm amazed at the things Braeden says. I'm sure every parent feels that way about their kids at some point or another. This year Braeden has memorized the story 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He doesn't have it perfect, but it's a LONG story. And he is only four.

So, without further ado, here's Braeden!

One of my favorite parts is his Santa voice. You'll see.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The last few days of 2008

I have lots of pictures (at home), so this picture-less post will have to do for now.

I actually have a really cute story to share. I wish I had a video camera surgically attached to my hand. One that was always charged up and ready to go. Because then I could capture the adorable moments that happen in between the whining, crying, and mess-making that goes on at our house.

Last night near the end of dinner Gage started to get a little fussy. Braeden stepped right in to fix it. He started laughing a silly laugh, and that made Gage smile. Then he talked in a funny voice, and Gage smiled even bigger. Then he made a funny face and blew air at Gage, and Gage started to laugh. Braeden went through a series of things, each more ridiculous than the one before, and Gage laughed at all of them. Mat and I were laughing too. I can't put into words how good I felt watching this exchange. How proud I felt that my little boy (Braeden won't know I called him that) knew immediately that he should step in to help take care of his baby brother. And seeing how happy it made Braeden to be the one to cheer up Gage was the icing on the cake. It was a little slice of heaven at our dinner table!

Tuesday we took the kids to day care. Mat washed my car, then we went to the local Subaru dealer to look at cars. I wanted to downsize from my small SUV to something with better gas mileage that drove like a car. I loved the look of the new Impreza hatchback and was really looking forward to driving one. Unfortunately they look a lot better than they drive! I had a WRX when I lived in Ithaca. It was beautiful (okay, actually it was a little strange looking but that's what made it so beautiful). I knew I liked Subarus, but I guess what I liked was MY WRX not all Subarus. I still think the car is cuter than cute, but I got it out of my system with one small test drive. The sales guy was a bit of a doofus (with the worst comb-forward I've ever seen in person!). He tried to get me into a series of cars that I had no interest in like a Forester (hello! why would I trade in one smallish SUV for another??) and a Volkswagen Rabbit. The Rabbit was adorable, but tiny. I sat in it, though, and remembered all the things I loved about Volkswagens. I had two in Ithaca before the WRX. The sales guy went inside to run numbers on the Subaru, and then I saw it.

A Jetta. A perfectly adorable, silver, Jetta. The Jetta was cheaper than the Subie, bigger, with a bigger trunk, and better gas mileage numbers. He ran the numbers on it, too, but I couldn't make up my mind. Not between the Subie and the Jetta but between trading in my Outlander and keeping it for longer. Lately I've been realizing that I like things the way they are. Not necessarily that everything is perfect in my life, but that I'm happier to leave them alone than I am to switch things up and go through the hassle. Maybe I'm fine with change...I'm just lazy. Whatever.

We left the dealership with no new car and went home. Mat was no help in making a decision. He actually wanted me to decide for myself. Can you believe it?? That night I made a pro/con list. I won't share it with you because it's a little embarrassing. It helped a little. Maybe it was sleeping on it that helped. I don't know. All I do know is that the sales guy called Wednesday morning and I told him yes. :)

We picked up the Jetta at 1:30 that day. And it's adorable. It's a 5-speed manual. Silver with an obnoxious black pinstripe. Who out there likes pinstripes on cars? It's the base model, the S, but it comes with a slate of really cool features that make me smile. Like heated seats! I have always wanted heated seats on a car. I hate the feeling of that dry hot air blowing on my face, drying out my lips and eyes. I never would have paid extra for the heated seats in NC (NY definitely), but they come standard. The car has an auxiliary jack for my iPod so I can get rid of the lame iRiver and the even lamer iTrip that play your iPod through the radio. There's a button to pop the trunk on the clicker...I love that! There's one-touch up and down windows on the driver's side. It's really the little things with me that make all the difference!

I'll have to get some pictures of the car to post. When I picked Braeden up from day care that day he told me my new car was pretty. So I knew I had made the right choice. :)

After I picked him up Wednesday, I took him to see the Tale of Despereaux. It's the first movie he's seen in the theater! I was a little nervous but figured what's the worst that could happen. And he was great! He ate whoppers (aka chocolate balls) and some of my popcorn. He was a little too light for the seat so it popped closed on him the first time he climbed into it. But I helped hold it open for him, and he sat on my lap for part of the movie. He didn't mind the dark, or the huge screen, or that the movie was obnoxiously loud.

Braeden's favorite part was the magical vegetable guy who helps make the soup and helps Despereaux save the day. This is Boldo.

The movie was really very good. It had a lot more plot than I was expecting from a kid's movie. I don't think Braeden followed all of it, but he got that there was a princess to save from bad rats. And he got that Despereaux was a hero. I had fun figuring out who was voicing each of the different characters. I didn't figure out that Stanley Tucci was Boldo until I went looking for the picture. Boldo has a French accent, so it wasn't as easy as some of the other characters.

Anyway, I was glad to take him and glad that he had such a good time and made it through the whole movie.