Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lord, I was born a ramblin' woman

It's finally here! The late, great DIVA convention of 2009. Tomorrow little B and I head to New Orleans to visit Ariana, and Conley is driving up from Houston. It will be the first time all three of us have been together since right after Bradley was born, and he fit into his "Little Werker" onesie. (Man, I wished that thing still fit!!)

Before a trip I always think I am well prepared, until it comes time to leave and then I'm scrambling trying to tie up loose ends and leave the house in a frantic sweat. For example, tonight I am certain my bag is packed, but I know tomorrow morning I will remember all kinds of things last minute and kick myself for not taking care of them tonight, instead of checking Facebook, watching The Office, Grey's Anatomy (I wish I knew how to quit you!) and I'm about to watch the Glee episode I missed last night while at church. I will lazily wander around the house until I feel like going to bed, and wake up tomorrow doing the mad dash to get out of the house again. Will I ever learn?? Mmm, probably not. But at least I know this about myself, and knowing is half the battle they say.

Today I hosted our informal mamas' coffee at my house. Our group is a hodge podge of women who have small kids, and not everyone knows everyone, so we've started doing weekly coffees at each other's houses, to get to meet other moms and frankly escape the house and have an adult conversation for an hour or two! If I may brag, and I will because this is my blog, the event today at our house was a huge success. In the four weeks we've been doing these coffees, we had the biggest turnout today- 8 moms and 6 kids (all under the age of 3- eegad!). The house was clean, the candles were lit, the fall decor was on display, and besides the coffee and fixins, I even whipped up a batch of homemade chocolate chip bran muffins this morning to nosh on as a healthy/tasty treat. Perhaps I am finally living up to my claim of being a domestic goddess extrordinaire??

In an email the other day Brian remarked on how busy I am these days. Every time he calls I am off doing something. It's a great feeling to be busy again, after moping around the house for so many months with no real motivation to get out and about. Brian's in his final stretch of the deployment, and we expect him back sometime soon after my birthday. Things are still up in the air for him as to what new job he'll have when he gets back, but we will just be excited to have him home no matter what job he transitions to on base.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic fall evening. Thanks for putting up with my rambling. I suppose next time I could blog and just say I'm blogging to say I have nothing to say, but then again, what would the point of that blog be? The rambling is just so much more fun, don't you think? So tonight I ramble on about life, and tomorrow I will ramble on over to N'awlins.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Day of Summer

Here it is the last day of summer already. Hard to believe Fall is upon us already. We celebrated the end of my favorite season with a trip to the beach, and by we, I mean me, Bradley, Ann, Kim, and Andrew. For all you workin hard out there today, here's my smug face for you :oP


Me, Bradley, Andrew, & Kim

Grandma Anna & Bradley

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Duck in a box

I can't help myself. I turn everything into songs. Whatever the circumstances of my day, I am liable to turn into a song lyric. Yesterday it was Bradley's shirt that read "A Mighty Surfer" which of course became "a mighty surfer is our boy" sung to the tune of the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is our God."

Today I was playing with Bradley in his room when all of a sudden I noticed he was playing with one of his ducks and the box that the 5 ducks belong in. So of course, I immediately began to sing aloud, "it's my duck in a box." And then I paused to ponder just how wrong it is that I am using obscene songs to turn into tunes to sing to my child. The SNL writers would probably be glad to know their stuff has staying power.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The B words

Usually the B-word is not a very nice one. Recently, we have had 2 b-words come into our lives, and neither is what you might think. One is good, one is bad. The first is Bunko.

For a long time now I have been trying to make more friends here and carve out some me-time in Florida so that everything in my life is not revolving around Brian and Bradley (some other favorite B words of mine, coincidentally). Finally some local mammas have put together an informal moms group, where we take turns hosting coffees, and the kids can come and play together, and also having once a month bunko games. This past Saturday night was our first game night. I had notions of bunko being an old ladies' game, but it is far from that. Basically you roll 3 dice, and try to roll for certain numbers each round, and rack up points based on how well you roll. You're constantly switching tables and playing with different people, so you end up getting to talk with everyone, and don't have to have any skill or strategy to play. I only knew a few of the gals who were there Saturday night, so I have the potential to make several new friends, and have a standing monthly girls' night out. Woohoo!

The other B word is familiar to anyone with a little boy I'm sure. Now that Bradley is walking all of the time now, we've had our first Booboos this weekend. A scraped up leg from falling on the concrete out front, and a bloody nose yesterday after tripping on the tile floor. This was the first of what I'm sure will be many bloody injuries with my little boy. I'm usually pretty low key when Bradley falls or bumps his head, but the sight of blood sent me into a panic! What if it doesn't stop bleeding I thought? What if, oh my gosh, what if it stains his clothes??!!

Fortunately it did stop, and he was fine. But the reality is, these 2 new B words are going to be a staple in our lives, so I'd better get used to it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hearts apart

So apparently we have hit a big milestone in our deployment (the amount of time I have been gone). As many of you know (and the few that will read this) I don't blog much (I think I have like twice) but thought I would give this a shot. I can't post pictures and don't have any funny sayings and can't talk about what I do or even what the weather is like so really this stands to be a short and boring blog that at the end of it you will wish you had not wasted your time. I always tell Amanda that every day is like groundhog day. I wake up around X time and shower in a make-shift bathroom then walk back to my shack where I put on the same uniform before having a cup of coffee and eating my breakfast that for some is their dinner or lunch. Everyday I have about the same food. I do not want any hamburgers when I get back. I drive my sweet humvee with no doors into work where I do what I gotta do then contemplate the vastness of space and time. I have a Mountain Dew in the afternoon and then in the evening a Dr. Pepper and two chocolate chip cookies.
Which brings me to a nice note. Every day around the same time I go and get a sandwich and it is always the same kind (provided they have the lunch meat I want). There I grab two cookies...normally. Recently they have been running low or even out of them when I go. I asked the lunch lady (and not Chris Farley) if she had more. She goes in the cupboard and opens a box, looks around and gives me a six pack of them. This happened about two weeks ago and every day since she has set aside just for me a six pack of Otis Spunkmire chocolate chip cookies.
This brought me to a hard point that we often forget in life. Our mood, although often influenced by things around us, is ultimately up to us. We should make the best of each day we have and find joy in the little things.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Food, folks, football, and fun

A week-long trip is almost too overwhelming to blog about. Here's the short, one-sentence recap: I saw lots of great people, and ate lots of great food. And here's the long recap:

Wednesday Sept 2nd: we rolled into town that afternoon, and wasted no time eating some good food: round steak with gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, and fried okra. After dinner we hit up Coldstone for some delicious ice cream.
Thursday September 3rd: Bradley and I visited mom at Ravenwood, and then after she got off work, we took Bradley to Pinkerton park in Franklin. I did my 30 minute run for the day, while G&G played with Bradley on the playground and took him for a short walk. Dinner that night was enchiladas and tacos, rice and beans.

Grandma & Grandpa B with Bradley at the park

After my run, I was stretching, and I looked down and saw this brick at my feet, and I laughed out loud. Tricia Cathey is this girl Laura graduated with, and for some reason, Laura keeps running into her all over town in random places. Of all the engraved bricks at this park, I cracked up that hers was the one directly below my feet!
Thursday night we took Bradley to the Ravenwood-Hillsboro game, his first ever football game. He's all decked out in his new Titans outfit because they played (and beat) Green Bay that night. Bradley did great at the ball game, mostly because he was happy to eat Dippin Dots, and mom carried him around and showed him the band, the cheerleaders, and the Raptor mascot up close. We made it to halftime and then took him home.

That night George and I spontaneously decided to go to a 10:15 showing of Inglourious Basterds, and I loved it! Going to the movies was definitely the highlight of my week in TN because it's a luxury I'm rarely afforded anymore. IB was a pretty typical Quintin Tarentino film, meaning it was violent, quirky, and funny. I still can't figure out why both words in the title are misspelled other than it's Quintin Tarentino and he most likely did that on purpose to be obtuse. George, my BFF, and I exchanged inside jokes about the movie the rest of the week just to piss off Laura because she couldn't go with us as she had to work the next day.

Friday September 4th was my big food and folks day. I had breakfast at the Puffy Muffin with my old friends from high school (who I did not actually go to high school with), Ben and Ken. I hadn't seen either of them since my wedding, so it was great to catch up with them, plus the food was yummy. I took my breakfast leftovers to Laura at work, and then headed over to Baja Burrito for lunch with Emily and Mary Anna. It was a gorgeous day, so I was happy to see them, and enjoy lunch outside on the patio. For dinner, me, mom, dad and Bradley went to McDougal's for dinner for some pure fried goodness: chicken fingers, french fries, and Texas toast! Later that evening, my freshman roommate from UK Ellen drove down to visit.

Saturday September 5th was our big college football day. We went to Jonathan's (a sports bar) to watch the University of Kentucky shut out Miami of Ohio 43-0. This is very exciting when you're a Kentucky fan, the team that's perpetually ranked at the bottom of the unparalleled toughness of the SEC conference. As usual, we have high hopes for our Wildcats!

Here's me, Ellen, and Bradley, and in the background you can see the scoreboard for yourself in case you don't believe it! That afternoon, Ellen and I hit the mall for a little shopping because I wanted to check out the new Sephora store inside JC Penney's. It was small, and they didn't carry several brands, including my favorite, Stila, but that didn't stop me from making purchases anyways. Ellen and I played in the makeup, and I gave us both bright blue eyeshadow to match our Kentucky shirts, and I bought a new shade of Bare Minerals foundation, Mineral Vale that I was out of, and a new Sephora brand brown liquid eye shadow. I'm embarrassed to say that the brown eyeliner I was using was several years old, and beyond the point of needing to be chucked. Saturday for dinner was homemade Chicken and dumplings, green beans, and mashed potatoes, another delicious southern classic. Ellen got on the road just after dinner. I am so thankful she went out of her way to come and visit. I can't believe we've known each other for 10 years!

Sunday September 6th we took Bradley to church at BBC. I was bummed that neither Mike or the choir were there since it was a holiday weekend, but I was still glad to be there, and encouraged to hear all that Brentwood Baptist is accomplishing these days in sharing Jesus with the world. After church it was one big reunion with Rhonda and Joe, Emily, Amy, Lisa, and Brad Johnson. I wish I'd taken a big group picture, but I did manage to get this classic shot with the two Bradleys, both clad in brown shirts:After church we had a late breakfast/early lunch at Cracker Barrel. Bradley had really good hand/eye coordination to be able to play the peg game on the table.

The two southpaws, with Grandpa's old baseball glove

Later on that day, our friends Rhonda and Joe came over to take some pictures of Bradley. I posted the link in the previous blog if you missed them. Sunday night was (mmmm!) Laura's quesadillas, homemade pico de gayo, and rice and beans. We also made a pitcher of white wine margaritas, but we put too much lime juice in them, so they were too tart to drink. After eating all that, I was too full to go run, so I played the "vacation card" and skipped it. That night, Laura made me watch "American Psycho" as its her current obsession, and I'd never seen it. It's one messed up movie, and although Christian Bale gives a great performance, the film was too out-there for me.

Monday September 7th, Labor Day. And what a day of labor it was for Brian's sister Heather! After many false attempts, she went to the hospital today and was finally admitted. I'm sure the irony of being in labor on Labor day was amusing to everyone but her.

We also took Bradley to the Nashville Zoo today. He seemed to like the giraffes and meerkats the best. The farm animals and petting zoo sections were a real let down I thought, but Bradley did like the raspberry icee that Grandma gave him, something I would never allow at home!!

a live "action shot" of us walking at the zoo

Monday night we grilled hamburgers, and had homemade fries, baked beans, and pasta salad. It was the perfect end-of0summer meal. Plus I miss grilling hamburgers, since I haven't grilled at home since Brian's been gone.

Tuesday September 8th in the wee hours of the morning, my very first niece Jaelynn Ava Downard was born. Just one day shy of being an 09/09/09 baby, she and her cousin Kristin share the same birthday one year apart. I met Laura for lunch at Bruegger's and had the Herby Turkey sandwich- thank you Emily Borders for introducing me to this treat a long time ago, and later that afternoon we had to take the customary trip to Target.

Bradley's current obsession is balls, so I took a picture with him out in front of the store with these permanent fixtures.

Tuesday night we had dinner at Cozy Mel's after Laura got off work. I learned that I do not like their pork tamales, and Bradley does not like their guacamole! He cried when he ate that. For the record, I did not cry when I tried the tamale (unlike the infamous scallop incident where I did almost shed tears at the dinner table). After dinner I met Tadd and his girlfriend Candace at Starbucks. We sat outside and talked for 2 hours and had a great time catching up.

Wednesday September 9th we headed back to Florida, but not without first realizing 20 miles down the road that I had forgotten all the bedtime staples in his crib upstairs- the blankie, dog-dog, sea horse, and pacifiers. So I called dad and turned around and met him at an interstate exit to retrieve the important items. That added about 20 minutes to our trip but it was so worth it! I don't think Bradley is super attached to any kind of lovie, but I couldn't take that chance! 8 hours later, we pulled into our driveway, glad to be home, but sad to say goodbye to such a great week.

Bradley loved climbing up the stairs, and more so being chased up the stairs. He loved the dogs too, especially Julius since he is so little. Julius however didn't return Bradley's affections since B tends to play a little rough right now. I was grateful to have extra hands to take care of Bradley and give me a much needed week-long break. I got to see Laura and George's new condo, eat way too much, and spend lots of quality time with friends and family. A big thanks to my family for making the week so relaxing and wonderful. And to my BFF, I'll have THREE beers. Au'revoire, Shoshanna!!

Monday, September 07, 2009

15 month pictures

Today is Bradley's 15 month old birthday.  I quit doing the monthly milestone blogs once B hit a year, but I figured this was a good time to update Bradley's stats, especially since we have brand-spanking new, hot-off-the-press pictures!

Things Bradley is doing these days:
  • walking everywhere
  • climbing stairs (up, but not back down)
  • obsessed with "Tugga Tugga Tugboat" and "Goodnight My Duckling" (The Ladybug and Dog books that were last month's obsession are history)
  • throwing everything- balls, food, sippy cups, you name it
  • chattering away in baby talk that only he can understand
  • follows simple commands like, "throw your paci in your crib," or "go get your book"
Our friends Rhonda and Joe came over to the house yesterday and took some great pictures of Bradley.  I posted a few of my favorites here, but you can see all of them on their photography blog at

a really good one of the weenie
future Heisman trophy winner
check out those baby blues
putting cookies in the cookie jar
a new favorite pasttime