Sunday, November 23, 2008

Confessions of a Shopaholic, and other weekend tidbits

So, funny story... what you don't see in the pictures below of Bradley in his Bumbo seat is that he is now so big, his legs get stuck in the chair.  I am determined to keep the Chunky Monkey from graduating to his high chair as long as I can, so I continue to feed Bradley in the Bumbo.  When we're done, I pick him up with one arm, and use the other arm to pry his legs out of the seat.  This sounds terrible, but I promise it's not as harsh as it sounds.  However, one day soon you might read a blog about a recent trip to the ER where they have to cut our son out his rubber seat using the Jaws of Life.

Otherwise, our weekend has been uneventful.  We went shopping at the mall in Pensacola yesterday, which will be my first and last trip to the mall with Bradley on a weekend before Christmas.  Overwhelmed is the word that would best describe me trying to push a stubborn-wheeled stroller through tons of people, and trying to occupy a fussy baby every time I stopped to look at anything.  We did have good luck at Target where we purchased several Babies First Christmas items, and upon exiting the store, feeling a strong sense of happiness and satisfaction with my purchases (none of which were for me, mind you) I asked Brian why it was a person feels so happy after buying things.  "It's an addiction like anything else," he said.  I thought about this for a minute and decided there was probably some truth to that, even though I have never considered myself a big shopper.  But apparently I needed a fix bad.  But it's okay... I can quit any time, no big deal.

The Titans lost to the Jets today, but I'm not deterred.  This loss will just spur them on to the Superbowl.  Kentucky didn't play, but I would say our chances of beating UT this year are actually good, so I'm looking forward to that game on Saturday.  Time to hop off here and head to my favorite place in the world (not), Wallyworld!  Just so there's no confusion, that doesn't count towards my new shopping addiction because I loathe Walmart.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Feeding Festivities

Last night was our third attempt at feeding Bradley "solid" foods.  I use quotation marks because the term "solid food" for a baby is code for anything that's not mom's milk or formula, as the flaky rice cereal mixed with milk and water is anything but solid.  For more fun with incorrectly used quotation marks check out the blog recently added to my list on the right hand side of the page- thanks for this hilarious find, Rhonda Lu!

The first time Bradley tasted his rice cereal from the baby spoon, it went surprisingly well- most of it went into his mouth, he didn't seem confused about what was going on, and appeared eager to eat.  The second time, not so much!  He made the typical scrunched up face I was expecting the night before, and closed his lips tight, not allowing me to put the spoon anywhere near his tongue!  Last night, after a week relapse (since we've been out of town), we tried again and it went great.  I hope last night's success is met with more of the same tonight.  

First bites!
Here's Bradley wiping his own mouth off with his bib!  
Yep, I'm making the classic "mmm this is good" face.  No complaints from Bradley though!

A full, happy baby

As far as getting him to sleep through the night, that didn't happen, but improvements are being made.

Focused on the Family

Yes, I know, I've got some splainin' to do!  No Wisconsin part two- not yet anyways.  No blog about the 10-0 Titans (but thankfully I didn't jinx them with the other blog!), and no post about Bradley's first venture into the world of solid foods.  I promise, they're all coming, but we've been in and out of town since last Friday.  

One week ago today we found out that Brian's Grandma Cimpher was diagnosed with late stages of cancer.  We dropped everything and made the 3 hour drive east on Hwy 98 (the road that never ends) to see her and Grandpa Cimpher.  The rest of Brian's family did too.  At one time I counted twenty people crammed into the house, and I know not everyone was present when I counted.  She's scheduled for surgery on Monday, so your prayers are appreciated.  Despite the circumstances, it was great to visit with everyone, and meet many of the family members.  Bradley was his usual happy self, passed from lap to lap grinning all the while.

A very happy boy- note his Mommy's Little Turkey bib!
Bradley meeting his 2 month old cousin Kristen

Bradley, Kristen, and Cameron riding the horses in G&G's house
Family photo-op
4 Generations- I love this picture!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Titans update

The Tennessee Titans are 9-0!  I know that as soon as I publish this blog I will have jinxed my team, but I have been wanting to blog about my beloved NFL team all season, and kept neglecting to do so because of my superstitious jinxing beliefs.  But I am throwing caution to the wind... we are Number One in the AFC south, and have a great chance at going to the Superbowl!  I know, I know, there's a lotta season left, but 9-0 isn't too shabby a way to start the season.  I'm proud of my boys.  

"In Greek mythology, the Titans were greater even than the gods. They ruled their universe with absolute power. Well that football field out there, that's our universe. Let's rule it like titans."
"No one, and I mean no one, comes into our house, and pushes us around."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

As our country moves into some hard economic times, and with a newly elected president in what was a very important election for our country, I would just like to pause today to wish you a Happy Veteran's Day.  

Before I married Brian I admit I gave little thought to this government holiday, but now as a military wife, this day has come to mean much more to me, and will continue to mean more to me in the future I'm sure.  I have friends whose husbands are serving and deploying overseas all the time, and I know someday Brian's time to serve overseas again will come too.  It is the service of these men and women, who devote their lives to serving our country that allows us to enjoy the freedoms we have.  They protect not only us Americans, but  others around the world in hopes to bring them these same freedoms.  Thank you Brian, thank you Bart, thank you Wes, Tyler, and the many others in our armed forces.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Wis-CAN-sin, part one

Yes, that blog title is me poking fun of all the northern accents I encountered last week (because of course, I do not have an accent of which to poke fun!).  Funny story about accents, while we were visiting with Brian's uncle Paul & aunt Vickie, I mentioned that all I had brought with me to wear were sweaters and turtlenecks, but with the weather being so warm all week (in the 70s- it was gorgeous), I was hot.  Vickie did an aural double-take and asked me if I said I had brought Petticoats to wear!  Petticoats, turtlenecks, you can hear the similarities when laying on a thick southern drawl.  After I clarified, I quipped later that next time I'd leave both my petticoats And my slaves at home.  The northerners and southerners united in laughter over that one.

We flew into Brian's home state of Wisconsin last Friday, on Halloween.  It was Bradley's first plane ride, and I was a nervous wreck.  The plane rides went well (thanks for all the helpful advice Beth!) and we arrived in Milwaukee early Friday afternoon.  

We drove an hour-and-a-half up to Portage to have lunch with family friend Patti (the mom of Derek, Bradley's middle-namesake), her son Dustin, and husband Randy.  After not having eaten all day, that pizza was delicious!
After lunch Brian took me on a tour of Pardeeville, WI, his hometown.  I made him jump out of the car and pose next to the town sign for posterity!  He showed me the downtown area, his high school, his houses that he lived in right on the lake, and pointed out all the people who lived in the neighboring houses.  It was like Cheers- he knew everyone's name.
I spotted Bradley Farms from the road and made Brian turn around so we could take a picture of it.  Apparently Erin Bradley, a classmate of Brian, used to get fun of for sucking her fingers in elementary school girl, and her parents owned this place.  Maybe Erin and I are related, because I used to suck my fingers too!
Since we were going to be travelling, I didn't spring for the actual Halloween costume for Bradley, so instead I dressed him up in his Lion sleeper, where the face of the lion is Bradley's face, and the feet of the sleeper say 'trick' and 'treat.'  There's a tail on the backside, but you can't see that here.
We stopped at a roadside stand and got pictures of the Little Man with the pumpkins on Halloween.  
Halloween night was spent at a local dive bar with family friends, and Brian's sister Heather joined us for the festivities as well.  These were last minute plans, so rather than spend $40 a piece for costumes, Brian and I went as Hot Parents.  Nuff said.

Saturday we got up and drove a couple hours northwest to Chippewa Falls, WI to see some Air Force friends of ours from down here tie the knot.  After the shortest ceremony ever (seriously, it was about 5 minutes long) and before the reception began, we squeezed (Squoze? ha ha) in a quick visit to the Leinenkugel's brewery that's there in Chippewa Falls.  I was bummed because the tours were all booked up, but we at least got to visit the Leine Lodge, and purchased a few drinking glasses for souvenirs after sampling the local brews.  

Saturday night we drove a few hours back to Wisconsin Dells to stay and visit with Brian's uncle Mike, aunt Tina, and their boys, 12-year-old twins Alex and Chris, and 8-year-old Quincy.  Lord help me if I ever have 3 boys, because I think there must be a special place in heaven for these moms (Sandy, cousin Kara, and aunt Lisa, you all get props here too!).  I tried to understand why the city is called Wisconsin Dells, and not just Dells, but Brian pointed out other examples of cities with their state names included (NYC) so I settled with that answer.

I also did some research and Wisconsin Dells (nicknamed The Dells) is named after the Dells of the Wisconsin River.  Here the Dells are described as a 5 mile stretch of gorge carved out of the rock by glaciers.  These rocks are apparently pretty enough to attract lots of tourists and turn the town into a popular tourist destination, and warrant so many resorts and indoor water parks, that the Dells is nicknamed the water park capital of the world.  More on these water parks later.  A Dell can also be a small wooded valley, so says Wikipedia, aka the Farmer in the Dell.  

Sunday morning I woke up in bed by myself (Brian was hunting with uncle Mike) and thought to myself, it's my 28th birthday, but it sure doesn't feel like it!  I guess this is the first birthday where I wasn't home, or away at school (which I remember at the time felt weird too), but Brian made sure the day was special nonetheless.  A bunch of his family came over to visit and watch the Titans and Packers game.  I enjoyed the friendly competition and harassing his uncles when Tennessee eventually won.  
Bradley and I were the sole Titans supporters (to be fair, I put Bradley in a Packers' bib to be diplomatic)
At halftime, Brian surprised me with a birthday cake, complete with 28 pink candles, and everyone sang to me, so that was fun.

Here's Bradley with Brian's dad, Jeff
And here's Bradley with his aunt Heather, Brian's younger sister

Sunday after the game Brian's aunt Tina watched Bradley while Brian and I checked into Chula Vista resort and went to the indoor water park there.  I know that I'm not crazy about water slides, but had no idea what I was getting myself into when we went.  We just thought it was something fun and different to do for my birthday.  Well I climbed the stairs to the top platform (the stairs should have been my first clue that I was in trouble) where there were 4 slides to choose from.  However, They all started indoors, but then looped outdoors, so from inside I couldn't tell what path the slides would take.  I asked the worker at the top which was the least-scary slide, and she shrugged, so Brian and I took our double raft, and picked one at random to go down.  This turned out to be a bad choice.  I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the top 3 scariest moments of my life.  As the slide dropped severely I was paralized by fear, unable to scream, but trying to tell myself to hold on tight and that it would soon be over.  There were moments however when I thought it would never end, and that I might die of a heart attack on this "fun" water slide.   If you look at the picture, the one we did was blue & orange.
All I can say is thank the Lord we didn't pick the dark green slide because I might not have lived to tell the tale.  Once the slide dropped us back indoors into a pool, my heart was pounding and my legs were shaking so much I could barely walk.  I ignored a lifeguard who asked if I was alright because at that point I still could not speak, much to Brian's embarassment.  I somehow managed my way out of the pool and over to the lazy river, holding onto the starir raisl for dear life, with a bewildered Brian at my side.  Apparently he thinks these scary slides are fun, and did not realize how terrified I was. 

Determined to have a good time, since it was my birthday after all, I calmed down in the lazy river and then mustered up enough courage to try all the kiddie slides, a tame indoor log ride, and even did the orange and blue slide a second time for Brian since that was the only slide that required you to have 2 people per raft.  Granted, I was almost crying and trying to back out the second time, but Brian pushed the raft into the abyss before I could climb off.  Needless to say, we did not spend that long at the water park before retreating to our room.
I snapped this picture in front of the hotel- it's a local pizza delivery car!  
After we cleaned up and got some dinner, Brian went to pick up Bradley.  It's crazy how much I miss that kid after being away from him even for a few hours.

This blog is turning into a long novel, so that's part one of our Wisconsin trip- Friday-Sunday.  More to come when I get the chance!

High 5 months

My oh my has it been a while since there's been a new blog!  Lots has happened- Halloween, a week-long trip to Wisconsin, Bradley's first plane ride, I turned OLD on November 2nd, and yesterday Bradley turned 5 months old!  

While visiting family in Wisconsin, we got to meet the newest addition to the Huber family, my cousin Kara's 12-day-old baby, Carter.  I could not believe what a giant Bradley appeared next to the almost-nine-pound baby.  Was it really just a few months ago that he too was that small?  I miss my tiny newborn!  Can we make time go backwards?  

Ah well, having a 5 month old can be lots of fun.  Bradley's personality is coming out more and more.  He is successfully sleeping in his nursery in his own crib every night now, but alas, still not sleeping through the night (sigh).  We have a routine down now of getting a new diaper, getting into his jammies, reading a few books, and singing his nighttime songs to get him to go to sleep.  

Bradley has also turned into quite the chatterbox, especially first thing in the morning when he's the happiest.  A few mornings ago I heard him making all kinds of noises through the baby monitor and thought for sure that Brian was in there playing with him, but when I finally walked down the hall into Bradley's room, there he was all by himself, chatting it up with his mobile!

A few other of Bradley's likes & 5 month milestones:
  • He loves to play peek-a-boo 
  • This Little Piggie is another favorite game 
  • The Kindermusik welcome song that we sing at the beginning of class each week (this is my secret for getting Bradley to smile in pictures!  I sing a few lines of that song, and his whole face lights up!).  
  • He still loves his Baby Einstein activity mat 
  • He is rolling over both ways now  
  • He squeals with delight and kicks his legs when he's happy
  • Brian's teaching him how to give High Fives
The doctor gave us the go-ahead to start Bradley on solid foods, but I've been reluctant to try that yet.  Now the part you've all been waiting for... pictures and video of the chunky monkey:

a happy 'nakey baby'
ready for UK game day
a favorite pastime- playing on the Baby Einstein mat

playing with his giraffe