Tuesday, June 30, 2009


There's just something about this picture of Bradley that reminds me of Martin Scorcese... but I can't put my nose on it. Maybe it's the hair, perhaps?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine

June Journal

I have been so uninspired to blog lately, so I apologize to the many (or the few of you) who keep checking the divadomain, only to be frustrated that you've already read the recap of our trip to Tennessee. Well to those I say, read it again; it's just like a great book. You can get something new out of it each time you read it. No? Well, I tried anyways.

Okay, so here's what's been going on with us, the Vilendrer family, Brian, Amanda, and Bradley:

Brian's mom, Ann, moved here a week-and-a-half ago, so now Bradley has his Grandma Anna just a few miles down the road. We are excited to have her here, and she's already helped us out by babysitting so Brian and I could attend a marriage seminar on base this past weekend.

Also the same weekend Ann moved, Brian and Bradley celebrated their 2nd Father's Day together. Bradley had this great idea to spell out a Father's Day message to dad, so I helped him out with it.
I honestly can't remember what we did that day! I think after church it was just a lazy day around Casa Vilendrer. We ate a quick lunch of pizza, and then I cooked for all of us that night. Here's Father and Son, opening presents. Brian received a travel coffee mug personalized with pictures of him and Bradley together, and also a "daddy and me" picture frame.

Besides those 2 events, there isn't much else to report except that it has been HOT here! I have had to be diligent about watering my hanging flower baskets twice a day (the ones I was so excited to purchase for $5 a piece). I also really goofed and watered our lawn for 3 hours one weekday after turning on the sprinkler in the morning and forgetting about it til lunchtime! Oops!

To cool off in the afternoons, and to give us something to do in between lunch and the afternoon nap, Bradley spends some time in his backyard pool. This is a rare occasion where he isn't tugging at his hat or his sunglasses!

On the Bradley front, there isn't much new happening. He still won't say 'mama' although ironically enough, on Father's day Ann and I heard him say it once, but he hasn't said it again since. If you tell him, Bradley, say mama, he responds cheerfully with da-da-da-da. Fantastic. The little guy is so close to walking, and we are hopeful we can coax him into taking those first steps before Brian deploys in a few weeks.

I suppose I should say something about that on here too. Brian is deploying in a few weeks. He'll be gone for a few months, and it will be our first deployment since we've been together. I am a wreck about it whenever I see war movies on tv, and I anticipate the 4th of July taking on a particular new meaning for me this year, but otherwise I am confident the time will fly be and he'll be back before you know it. I still don't know all the ins and outs about what's allowed to be discussed openly about deployments, and documented on the internet for all to see, so anyone who wants to know more can ask me directly.

Back to Bradley, this is a blurry picture, but I caught him with "Alfalfa hair" one day last week after waking up from a nap, so I had to take a picture.

(PS aunt Lisa, he loves his Fischer Price aquarium you got him for Christmas- I put it in his crib back when we had to take down his mobile, and he is mesmerized by it!)

We went and got 1st birthday pictures taken last week, so for all of you who sent birthday presents and cards, I'm sending pictures along with thank you notes, so that's why you'll get them a month late!

The month of June has given us many opportunities to see family. Last week Bradley and I were able to drive out to PCB and visit with Michael, Missy, and the kids. We spent the day with them at the beach while they were down here on vacation. I feel horrible because I brought my camera, and I know that Michael took some pictures, but the only one I have to document the day is Bradley sacked out on Michael's lap at the very end of the day! It was so great to be able to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

And what is new with me, the Domestic Diva? Well I fixed my own stopped-up kitchen sink this past week. Apparently the garbage disposal can only handle so much, and the white rice was a bit too much. With Brian's blessing to attempt to fix the sink on my own, and with my dad talking me through it over the phone, I was able to unclog the sink myself, and I was darn proud of myself for doing it! Brian was also a handyman around the house this weekend, but that's going to have to be saved for a separate blog because it's an entirely different topic that I want to cover.

Blessings to you all, and happy anniversary today to Bart and Ari who are celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary! Love you, Snake, and Sceptre!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time in Tennessee

Bradley and I came up for a week-long visit to Tennessee this past week. Since I'm currently job hunting, I wasn't sure how much longer I'd be able to take off and come up there for an extended amount, so we took advantage of having the time now. We got up there on Sunday evening, Bradley's birthday. Laura made her famous quesadillas, guacamole, rice and beans. It was delicious as usual, and I always get full before I can eat as much as I want. After dinner Bradley was allowed to have one birthday cupcake so Laura & George could see him dive into the chocolate since they couldn't be at Bradley's party. I have to say, the second time around was a little lackluster, both on the part of the audience and the birthday boy!

Bradley also got to open his gifts from Laura & George. The little man was way more interested in the envelopes from the birthday cards! He couldn't really stand up yet behind the Fischer Price lawnmower that Lu got him (a favorite from her childhood) so we posed him behind it for a picture, then pushed it back and forth and played with the bubbles.

Grandma B got this little rocking horse (rocking dog?? What does one call this toy?) to keep at her house, and besides this big grin as a first impression, Bradley hasn't shown much interest in it since.
George, however, loved the toy!
The next few days were pretty here (a welcome change from the wet spring Nashvillians have suffered). We took B to the pool and he liked playing in the baby pool and watching all the other kids there.

One perk to going home is that I don't have to cook! I get treated to amazing homecooked meals by mom & Laura, coupled with being able to dine out at some of my favorite places. While in TN I visisted Bluecoast Burrito, Royal Thai, Five Guys, and Mcdougal's, plus ate homemade grilled tilapia and couscous (yes, I ate FISH- can you believe it?), and round steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, fried okra and squash. I was in food heaven!

Tuesday night Laura and I went to Kairos at BBC. It still amazes and humbles me to see so many people my age (okay, let's be realistic; most of them are younger than me these days) at church on a Tuesday night. They come from all over Nashville to be fed spiritually, and Mike kicked off this night with the start to their summer series on relationships. With over a thousand bodies filling the hall, and getting to see the new Connection Center, I was overwhelmed with how much this ministry has grown.

Back at the house, here's B and Grandma B, checking out the backyard landscaping.

Bradley loves his quality time with Grandpa B. Favorite pasttimes include wagon rides, and swinging on the porch swing, or in the new baby swing.

On Wednesday I was able to meet Mary Anna & Emily for lunch at Logan's then we treated ourselves to desert at Las Paletas. I can't believe I had never sampled one of these original Nashville treats, but the fresh popsicles were amazing. They are homemade and come in all sorts of quirky flavors that change from day to day. One on the menu today was rose petal. I wasn't sure I was ready to see what rose petal tasted like, so I had the creamy lime instead. MA sampled the oatmeal cookie, and Emily had the pistachio. It was so good to see both of these lovely ladies and catch up on life over a quick lunch and culimate our time with this delectable desert.

I also got to visit with Rhonda Lu this week twice- once pre-surgery at my house, then once post-surgery at her place. (She had outpatient surgery on her leg Wednesday of last week.) The visits were both short and sweet, but I'm so glad we found time to see each other.

Bradley was especially curious of the doggie door this visit! He did well around the dogs and even played ball with Julius one afternoon.

Friday mom and I had McDougal's chicken fingers for lunch (Bradley tried a little bit of everything and liked it too) and then we took Bradley to Pinkerton Park in Franklin to play.

Bradley really enjoyed the plastic drums they had there.

We had a relaxing week, ate a lot of good food, and had a great visit with friends and family. It was so good to see everyone and we miss you all already, and can't wait for our next visit.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Free Beer & Hot Wings

Almost every story that my brother in law tells begins with these words:
So I was listening to "Free Beer & Hot Wings" the other morning...

FB&HW is a nationally syndicated morning radio show that apparently holds a special place in George's heart. He's constantly finding fun new websites to visit and hearing news of the weird that he reports back to us. The latest find was learning about this funny commercial for a furniture store in NC. I promise this one's worth the click on the link- you'll be singing the jingle for days after watching this.

Fast forward to this past Friday night. I went with Laura & George to Jonathan's, a local sports bar, to watch the Red Sox game on tv. George ordered a huge plate of nachos, and then got a plate of hot wings that he couldn't finish. After a while, the hostess came by our table and asked if we minded switching tables since the room in which we were sitting had been reserved for a private party. We happily obliged, grabbing all of our unfinished food and drink, moving to a table on the patio with the Red Sox game on a tv right in front of us. The manager came by later and thanked us for moving, and offered to buy us a round of beers. After he dropped off the beers a few minutes later, I exclaimed to George, hey, we've got free beer & hot wings!

We all laughed and George said that maybe he would call in Monday morning to the show and tell them the story. But. he said, they usually make fun of their callers, so maybe not. Well George, I took the liberty of emailing the show myself, so hopefully they make fun of you on the radio anyways.

12 month stats

Today was Bradley's 12 month checkup. He had to get 4 shots, and his finger pricked to test for anemia. As usual, he cried initially, but as soon as the bandaids were on the tears stopped. The doctor checked him out, and gave us the thumbs up for Bradley. Turns out our little chunky monkey has turned into a skinny mini though, as he's in the 19% for his age in weight, and the 20% for his age in length. Dr. Bryan isn't worried about the slow in growth, so I'm trying not to either, given that breastfed babies at this age do tend to slow down. Anywho, 12 month stats are officially as follows:
  • weight: 20 lbs. 15 oz.
  • length: 29 inches
  • Cruising around the house like a champ (for those not familiar with baby jargon, as I wasn't a year ago, this is where they get around by walking while holding onto furniture)
  • Clapping his hands, and seeking approval for everything
  • Knows what 'No' means, but doesn't always listen!
  • Finally allowed to eat table food. Beans seem to be a favorite of his- back, white, or baked
  • Using his sippy cup at will now
  • Loves, loves, loves Books and Music

We are done with checkups until 18 months (ie a year and a half).

Monday, June 08, 2009

Fun at One

As of this past Sunday, our little man is one year old! We celebrated on Saturday the 6th with a "Fun At One" themed birthday party at one o'clock in the afternoon. The Reeds (Tim, Sandy, and Casey Michael) came down from Tennessee to attend. Amber and Micah were there, Wes just back from deployment, and of course, Grandma Anna, and Grandma & Grandpa B were there. The festivities began with lunch, followed by presents, and finally ended with Bradley digging into his very own chocolate cake.

Bradley did great with all the people. He was passed from person to person and smiled and chattered away, earning applause anytime he did anything remotely cute. He bounced up and down, obviously excited when we sang him 'Happy Birthday.' His favorite present he opened was a bag of Gerber yogurt melts, and got upset when I sat the bag aside to open other gifts! Bradley received lots of clothes and toys, including some bath toys, a cross-stitched baby sampler that my mom has literally spent a year making, and a cute Mickey Mouse ride-on toy. His feet don't quite touch the ground yet, but he loves pushing the buttons and watching the propeller go.

We had a great time, and Brian and I are so thankful for everyone who was able to be there with us to celebrate, and for all of the gifts for Bradley. Thanks also to all our wonderful friends and family who called/texted B birthday wishes. For all you Facebookers out there (Facebooker, I don't even know 'er) I have pictures posted from the party. Here's a few to document the event though:
This is the invitation I created on Snapfish, although it didn't scan very clear:

Bradley with Grandma & Grandpa B
This is the best daggum picture we got of the three of us that day :o(
The birthday boy with his grandparents
Bradley with our good family friends the Reeds; Tim, Sandy, & Casey
A shot of the homemade cakes... I was pleased with them except the writing- it never turns out right- the pressure from those icing canisters is NEVER even! Grr!
Opening presents!
Let him eat cake!

After the cake, and the sink bath, a clean Bradley tries out his new swimming pool in the backyard with Grandma Anna
The party was seriously so much fun, and not nearly as stressful as I'd made it out to be in my head. It was just so great to get all those people who love Bradley in one place, and celebrate the fact that he is now officially a "Toddler" (according to my weekly Babycenter emails)! Thanks to everyone! We are blessed!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A few firsts

After months and months of protesting, we finally broke down and gave Bradley his first haircut on Sunday. I didn't want him looking too shaggy for his first birthday party (coming soon, to a Gulf Breeze house near you, this Saturday!), so we sat him in his high chair and Brian and I each took a turn snipping the long pieces of hair that cover his ears. Yes, we finally cut the "old man hair!" His locks are still long in the front and back, but I don't care. Here's a few pictures to commemorate the event.
It's also worthy to note that Bradley is sick in these pictures. He's suffering from his first cold, and luckily, his first illness in almost 12 months. Like a sweet boy, he shared his cold with mommy, so we're both suffering from nasal congestion and a cough, right in time for the party this weekend. Hopefully we'll both continue to be on the mend.

I also wanted to post a picture of Bradley drinking from his sippy cup, since he's lazy and usually won't hold it himself! This is proof that he can and will do it on occasion.