Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day weekend part one

Labor Day weekend continues, and we're waiting to see where Hurricane Gustav makes landfall.  Depending on how far west the storm hits we'll get a lot of rain and wind, and are under a Tropical Storm warning now.  Either way, looks like this storm is going to give us more action than Fay.

College football season is now officially under way.  Saturday me Brian & Bradley, along with Grandma Anna, Jim, & Jesse went to a sports bar in Pensacola to watch both the LSU and Wisconsin games.  They both won, and Kentucky beat U of L today for the second year in a row!  The SEC is a force to be reckoned with always (except for poor Miss St!).

Sat. night we all piled into Jim's truck and drove out to Sandestin (about an hour from Gulf Breeze where we are) and went to Baytown Wharf, which is a really cute touristy area on the water with little shops and restaurants.  As is common with coastal cities, a freak rainstorm passed through just as we were parking the car, so we dodged raindrops from the parking lot all the way to an underground parking garage, thinking we could cut through and get to the wharf on the other side.  Let's just say we got more than our fill of the parking garage by the time we zigzagged through and finally made it up to ground level, and waited for the rain to subside.  I say subside, and not stop, because the men decided the rain had "quit" after 10 minutes of waiting, so we went ahead out into the wet weather towards the wharf.  I was slipping and sliding in my flip flops, soaked from top to bottom trying to push the stroller through the sprinkling precipitation.

We settled on one of the first restaurants we found, and had a nice dinner outside on the covered porch of this cajun, new-orleans-style place to satisfy our hunger, and dry off.  I was a much happier camper after I got some food in me and let some of the water on me evaporate.  After an interesting feeding session with Bradley in the ladies' room, Grandma Anna, Jesse, and Bradley took off walking, and me, Brian, and Jim walked into this little club where they were advertising free draft & well drinks, and no cover charge till 10 pm.  It was your typical middle-aged-tourist club where they played your favorite disco hits of the 70s and 80s.  This was the second time Brian and I have been out since Bradley has been born, so we each had a couple beers and shooke our groove thing for a few minutes before meeting back up with the others.  We made the loop around the wharf, and I fed the fishies off the dock, finally heading home around 10 pm.  Our little man was all tuckered out, but we all had a good time visiting.
a photo op in the giant chair

cross dressers!

Due to Gustav making his approach today, Ann, Jim, and Jesse went ahead and left to avoid the heavier trafic, so now Brian and I are gearing up to have Amber and Mobes over.  More on that to come later!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fay-ked Out

I know you're all thinking by now that no blog means the Tropical storm blew us away.  Hardly.  Fay was downgraded to a tropical depression by the time it got here, giving us a smattering of misting rain, and a few wind gusts and that was it.  Never fear though.  As we speak, Gustav and Hanna (Montana) are churning in the Caribbean right now, so who knows?  Maybe my lifelong dreams of being in a hurricane will be realized before you know it.

Sucky Salesmen

Remember the good ole days when I always seemed to have a random, funny story to share?  Turns out you only have to go as far as your neighbor's house these days to experience the hilarious blog-worthy anecdote.  Jess called me the other day just as I was about to start dinner, asking me to come over for a minute.  I was worried b/c she didn't day what she wanted, so I scooped up Bradley and off we went.  Turns out she had been hoodwinked into watching a demonstration for Kirby vacuum cleaners, and didn't want to be in the house alone with a strange man who really creeped her out.  (As in, loosening his tie, creepy!)

So I pulled up 2 chairs, and we watched for an agonizingly-slow hour and a half, as the vacuum cleaner salesman version of This Guy tried to sell us an overpriced cleaning machine.  Now I did sales for 3 1/2 years, so I did not envy the job this poor kid was trying to do.  He was obviously nervous having 2 lovely ladies stare at him in silence as he feebly attempted to show us how wonderful this kirby vacuum cleaner was.  He began sentences and trailed off, and  I could see the script he was trying to go over in his head, striving to cover all his bases.  He came dangerously close to catching his necktie in the "easy to use" vacuum several times, so I couldn't help myself when I asked him if he ever got it caught.  No, he said.  Not yet, I thought.

While he went through all 150 attachments the vacuum came with, it was glaringly obvious that this guy had no idea what he was doing.  Poor Mr. Boom-Goes-the-Vacuum at one point mistakenly labeled the dusting attachment as the pet groomer, realized his mistake as he saw and identified the real pet groomer, then commented, but you could also use this one as a pet groomer too.  It was embarrassingly painful to watch, and for his sake I hoped the demonstration wouldn't take too much longer since it was obvious from the beginning that neither one of us were going to buy a vacuum cleaner.  No such luck.

As he struggled to get the vacuum apart, I sarcastically remarked "looks easy," which fell on deaf ears as he agreed with me enthusiastically.   It was all I could do to keep a straight face the entire time as he went through his pitch, tried to demonstrate the poor quality of Jess' vacuum, but not being able to figure out how to turn it on, then couldn't get his own vacuum to start, asking Jess if the plug worked, then realizing it was because part of his vacuum wasn't attached! 

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, his boss, and his boss' boss showed up as well.  Apparently there was a car-full of them working the entire neighborhood.  Each guy tried to help our kid out, and attempted to one-up each other in salesmanship, but only managed to come off smarmier and smarmier.

And all for the bargain price of twenty-ninety-five (that's 2 thousand dollars, he clarified for me, thanks) and 2 hours of your time that you'll never get back, you too can be the proud owner of a Kirby vacuum cleaner!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Fayte that awaits us

Hey yall!  As I sit here typing this, Brian is making us breakfast, and I can hear the wind gusting outside the window.  It's an overcast day and the heavy rains are on their way.  Yes, we are ready and waiting for Tropical Storm Fay- my first ever Tropical Storm experience.  I saw on TWC this morning where Jim Cantore was at Panama City Beach, where so far the beaches were still relatively calm.  Apparently there were even sandbags at a local park for residents to go and pick up to prepare for Fay.  Admittedly I was kind of excited at the looming storm ahead, even though since we don't live right on the water, we have no need for the sandbags.

I'm not sure what to expect from this storm, but I have my raincoat and video camera ready, to bring my own weather channel fantasies to life.  We'll see what kind of a camera man Brian makes!  So far the three of us are safe and sound in our little house and don't plan on getting out in the torrential rains (don't worry Mom!).  This is Amanda Vilendrer, Tropical Storm aficionado, signing off!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Painted Love

Monday Brian had a day off of work, so he and I tackled a home project I've been dying to complete.  We finally painted our guest bathroom!  It's a little brighter color than what I'd anticipated, but I've never been one to shy away from bold colors, so I'm satisfied.  (Any of you who know Amy Helms, this is the same shower curtain she has in her bathrooom!  What can I say?  We've got great taste.)

Brian called the experience a Team Building project, and for us that was about right.  I only threw one tantrum, and he only flung one paintbrush.  Yes, I am openly neurotic and OCD about getting paint on the baseboards and floor, and the way I think the painting needed to be done. A guy can only take so much 
neurosis in such a small space!  A few pages of my vampire book later, and several deep breaths, and I was ready to paint again!

Afterwards during the "clean up process" we had more fun than the actual painting project!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the DIVA's guide to L&D

I've been meaning to do this for a while now.  I read this awesome book when I was preggers called the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy (thanks Beth for recommending this!) and laughed all the way through it.  It's a no-holds-bar approach to telling you the details you really want to know from the perspective of a fellow Girlfriend who's been there, done that.

Well I decided that after having Bradley I would share my own insiders guide to Labor & Delivery- the DIVA's guide if you will!  Here are a few tips for you mamas-to-be; print this and save it for when the time comes.  It will have you looking and feeling fabulous when the time is right.

1.  Take the time to shower, and shave your legs before going to the hospital.
*This is assuming that your health and the health of your baby do not dictate you get to the hospital sooner, but it will make a world of difference of how you look and feel both before and after your baby is born.  Beforehand, it's great to distract you from the (ouch!) painful contractions you're having.  Afterwards, depending on how long you're in labor, and what kind of recovery you have, you have no idea when you'll want, or be able, to shower again.  It gives you peace of mind to not feel so gross after recovery if you can rest in the fact that it hasn't really been that long since you washed your hair.

2.  You're going to have your picture taken a ton, so fix your hair, and put on makeup
*Again, this assumes you and baby are healthy and in no great rush to get to the hospital!  I went through the bulk of my labor before I was ever at the hospital (I was at 7cm already when I was admitted) and I credit my lengthy beauty routine for getting me through it.  All I kept thinking of was how many pictures were going to be taken and that I needed to not look like a hag in them, so away I went, expertly applying foundation, lip gloss, and even eyeliner in between pausing to grimace and breathe through the pain.

3.  On the same topic of makeup- wear waterproof mascara!  
I made the mistake of Not doing this, and boy do I regret it!  After having Bradley, a few hours later the nurse helped me to the bathroom and I immediately regretting looking into the mirror!  Somewhere along the way my tears of joy had created rivers of mascara down my face without anyone telling me, and I cursed myself for being so droll.  A DIVA with any sense would have known better.  So take my advice!  Wear waterproof mascara!

4.  Bring a hairdryer with you to the hospital.  
They aren't hotels, most of them will not have this appliance for your showering convenience.  I also learned this lesson the hard way, remembering to pack my curling iron, which did no good when I realized I had forgotten a hair dryer.  

5.  Unless you plan on eating the hospital food, check into your hospital's policy on serving meals.  
If they bring the meals 3 times daily, and you don't eat them, you are charged regardless.  It would be great to save on this expense.  From my own experience, the breakfast wasn't too bad, but I didn't touch the lunch or dinners.

6.  BYOP.
You'll read this in all your baby books, but bring your own pillow.  You won't sleep much in the hospital, but when you can, yours is surely to be more fluffy and substantial than the crap flat cotton rectangle they call a pillow.

7.  Bring a new maternity nightgown to wear.  Nothing lifts your spirits like new clothes, and after being stuck in a hospital nightgown for who knows how long, you'll be grateful to have something fresh to change into sometime during your recovery process.  

"That's it, that's all.  Nothing more nothing less."  Hope these help you or a friend at some point to look and feel fabulous during a very important time in a DIVA's life. 

Sephora, so good

I have a confession to make.  Is it bad that the 2nd most exciting highlight of my day was the new Fall 2008 Sephora catalog coming in the mail??  (The first of course was that Brian got home from his work trip)

No longer do I live the carefree life of a single, early twenty-something where Sephora treats were regular and unabashed, but still I pore over every catalog and marketing email they send me about new products and update my wishlist on their website regularly.  Funny how life works out though, because with more and more of my days being spent at home, the need to get all glammed up is lost on a 2 month old!  Still, I can't deny how good a new eye shadow or lip gloss can brighten one's mood and make a girl feel gorgeous, so I continue to look and save up for those special occasions when I can purchase a cosmetic pick-me-up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic chatter

You should sit around and watch Olympics with my family. You really should. We have a blast making up our own commentaries whilst we watch the athletes. A few funny highlights from the past several nights:

Sasha Artemev mom says looks like he has rickets- he's scrawny, and has dark circles under his eyes. Mom is also obsessed with Jonathan Horton. Every time he comes on the screen she has to tell us how muh she likes him.
The swimmer Pieter van den I-have-the-longest-last-name-ever Hoogenband doesn't have a chance against American frat-tastic powerhouse Michael Phelps. "Fish Mouth" swimmer from Russia doesn't either. Funny how blase' it has become for Phelps to win another gold medal! Speaking of Phelps, fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte is set to become America's most hated athlete if he beats Phelps at his own game, ruining Phelps' perfect chance at attaining golds in all of his events. You feel bad for Lochte, but you know he enters his race knowing what an underdog he is. Finally, you have a "Beavers" and a "Tancock" swimming in the same race... I wonder if they are friends? I'm just sayin...
Also in the world of gymnastics, Laura decided that if tumbling doesn't work out for Chinese gymnast Yang Wei he could have a rap career based solely upon his name alone (and then Michael Phelps could listen to him on his ipod before smashing another world record).
Speaking of the Chinese, it's pretty sad that the image-conscious nation would substitute a cute girl to lip sync during the opening ceremonies while the not-so-pretty one sings live backstage. It's the Chinese version of Milli Vanilli!
Yes, I have officially caught Olympic fever, and there's still another week to go!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fancy a Photo?

Argh... I am starving, waiting for George and Laura to bring home my favorite- Blue Coast Burrito for lunch, so I figured I'd pass the time by posting a blog from TN with some pics from the week so far.

Brian, Bradley, and I rolled into town on Thursday afternoon. Brian couldn't get over how "cold" it was, and I couldn't stop thinking how Green everything was! It's good to be back in TN though. Not much has changed- the family is still fighting over whose turn it is to hold Bradley, with Grandma B winning that battle most of the time.

Our good family friends the Reeds married off their oldest son Andrew on 08-08-08, the main reason for us being in town. I was priviledged to sing at the wedding, and got through Ave Maria just fine despite hardly singing a note for months (well, besides the little songs I am making up for Bradley every day). The wedding and reception were beautiful, and it gave me a chance to dress Bradley up in some "fancy outfits!" See examples A, B, C, & D below:

Bradley in his fancy Pooh Bear outfit for the rehearsal dinner. (And that's spit up, not pee, on the bed!)

Our little family

Grandma B holding Little B in his fancy wedding outfit

The whole Bradley-Vilendrer-Future Murdoch gang at the wedding reception
Several minutes later... still waiting on that lunch. But it's good to be in Tennessee!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

F&%k*#g S*&t!!!

Brian and I have recently been convicted about the words that come out of our mouths. The Bible talks a lot about our speech, and the damage careless words can do. As new parents we are trying to set a good example for Bradley and model the behavior we expect from him, but we realize we can't wait to start cleaning up our act once Bradley is old enough to imitate us. By then it will be too late, so we're starting now. For starters we are putting a quarter into Bradley's piggy bank every time we sip up and say a cuss word. So far Bradley has $6.25 in his bank thanks to our loose lips!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

2 Months Today!

Today is Bradley's 2 month birthday!  Cliche, I know, but time really has flown.  We went for his 2 month checkup this week, and our little bugaboo is a whopping 11 pounds and 3 ounces now.  (So that's why my arms are ready to fall off by the time I get the carrier from the house to the car!)
Ok, so I'm not a professional photographer, but I was trying to go for the cute naked baby picture here, without exposing his private parts, and yet still displaying the keepsake shoes with his name and birthdate on them.  
I gave up trying to get everything in one shot, so here's the cute naked baby...

... and here are the keepsake booties
And finally, to show how big he is, here is Bradley with Coco, my favorite stuffed animal that I've had since I was a kid.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Telling a Tori on myself

Everyone is entitled to their own trash tv obsession.  Ari admittedly watches "Rock of Love," Laura's guilty pleasure is "Real Housewives of Orange County," and mine was "Kimora Lee Simmons: Life in the Fab Lane."  I say it used to be, not because I am too busy being a mom to watch trash tv- Please!  Truthfully I find myself watching more tv these days during nursing sessions, but sadly enough, we don't get the Style network here, so (Gasping in horror)- No Kimora Lee Simmons!!

Not to fear.  Turns out there is an abundance of trash tv out there, and I quickly found a replacement for Kimora:  "Tori & Dean's Home Sweet Hollywood" on Oxygen.  Yes, I'm ashamed to admit I watch the Oxygen network, and even more ashamed that I am glued to a celeb-reality show about Tori Spelling, not even my favorite character way back when, when 90210 ruled my middle school world.  (Although who remembers her before-they-were-stars role as Violet, Screech's girlfriend on SBTB??!!)  In case you haven't seen the show, it follows around Tori Spelling, her husband Dean, and their one-year-old Liam.  Tori's expecting their 2nd child, and may I say, had way cute maternity clothes, and on the season finale last night, Tori and I bonded.

There was a segment where a very preggers Tori served ice cream at Baskin Robbins' Bump Day this past spring.  Immediately it put things into perspective for me at how close together hers and my pregnancies were.  I went to Bump Day at Baskin Robbins with Natalie, and may I say, I was nowhere near as big as Miss Spelling-McDermott was at the same stage.  Guess I know what they mean now about 2nd pregnancies affecting you differently than the first!  Also, at the end of the episode was the birth of the new baby Stella, and her birthday was June 9, 2008- two days after Bradley was born.  

Call me crazy for getting just a teensy bit too obsessed with this show (hey, at least I'm not watching Lifetime!), but I felt a kinship with Tori, knowing we were going through our prego period at the exact same stage and time!  Okay.  Maybe just a little crazy.

One final sidenote, whenever I hear "Tori & Dean," I still think of Taureen Dean, the former FL basketball player.  Again, crazy, I know, but what can I say?  I think everyone's entitled to their own little trash tv obsessions.  Don't judge me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bradleys and Beaches

Another long overdue post, this one to document the trip made by Grandma & Grandpa B and Aunt Laura to Pensacola Beach, July 22nd- 26th.

Grandma B & Little B

Even a size small is too big right now!  
He looks more like he should be a member of the 3 Amigos than at the beach!
Grandpa B & "Bunky" at the beach- 
don't worry, it was too hot, so Bradley didn't stay for very long.
I was antsy to finally see Bradley in his beach wear!  
Sisters reunited

Bradley & Bradley women

Looking for Jellyfish- they were everywhere!

Aunt Laura & Bradley relax at the Holiday Inn (alas, Snoop Dog was nowhere to be found)

Brian and Laura took a wave runner out on Friday in the sound- aka, the Fake Ocean, and unfortunately, the only body of water around able to cool you off, due to the massive influx of jellyfish on the coast.

We had a great visit.  The weather cooperated for the most part, even though the jellyfish made it impossible to get in the ocean.  Bradley got some great time visiting with Grandma & Grandpa B in the hotel room, while Mom (that's me!) got some much-needed down time at the beach.  I'm sure there were funny stories that I was supposed to blog about, but it's been so long, I'm doing good enough getting pictures posted!  Yay for family visits, and fun in the sun!

Tally Trip

This blog is long overdue, but I wanted to be sure to document our first trip to Tallahassee to visit Jim and Grandma Anna.

 The weekend of July 18-20th, Bradley & crew went out to Chili's for dinner on Friday night where Jim and I lamented over the absence of the Grilled Caribbean Salad from the menu.  Saturday we all went bowling (and I beat Brian on the first game, pla
cing 2nd out of all 6 of us who went!), and afterwards took a 
tour of downtown Tallahassee 
where I got to see FSU's campus, the governor's mansion, and the state capitol building where the "hanging chads" were counted in the '00 election debacle!  Saturday night Jim cooked an amazing meal of stir fry.  The guys watched a UFC fight, and me and Ann had girl time & watched Pretty Woman!  Bradley got settled in for story time as Grandma Anna read him a Mercer Mayer book that had been one of Brian's favorites as a kid.   Judging from the picture it looks like Bradley enjoyed the book!

We had a great weekend and can't wait to go back soon!


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Cart Query

Calling all moms, friends of moms, or anyone smarter than me who can find a solution to this problem of mine:

When taking Bradley to Walmart, I am having a lot of difficulty navigating through the store with Bradley's carrier cautiously positioned on the top of the basket near the handle.  Am I doing something wrong?  Is there a better way to shop with an infant?  I implore your help.

My biggest problem is that I am a mere 5'2", not tall enough to see over the carrier, and that's with the canopy and carrier handle bar down!  I have to crane my neck and look around the basket to make sure the way is clear, and inevitably I am going to run over a small child who darts out in front of my cart without my knowing.  Already I have hit food displays and wet floor signs that come of of nowhere, causing me to back up my novice, cart-pushing self, and retract my steps.  I feel like an idiot, and it makes grocery shopping even less fun than I normally find it, worried the whole time that Bradley's carrier is going to slide off, or like I mentioned previously, that I am going to run over a toddler.  Any ideas??