Friday, December 17, 2010

December Snapshot

The lazy girl's guide to a blog post: a collage of pictures from the past few weeks: enjoy!

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Two and a half

On Tuesday, December 7th, Bradley was officially halfway through the terrible twos!  I have a 2 1/2 year old now.  This really hit home for me when I realized last night that on his next birthday he will be 3.  A 3 year old??  Where has the time gone?

Well, on Tuesday, my little two-and-a-half year old did something that melted my heart.  As I was giving him his hug at daycare and about to leave to go to work, he said, "I love you mommy."  Of course he has said this to me before, repeating it after me, but he has never said it to me out of the blue like that and on his own accord.  He said it again to me tonight, so it wasn't just a fluke.

When they're babies you wait so long for them to finally be able to say "mama" and then you secretly cannot wait until the day they tell you they love you.  That day has finally come for me, and I am over the moon about it.

Monday, December 06, 2010

St. Nick's Day

To the 2% of the population who know what this holiday is and celebrate it, Hope you've had a wonderful St. Nicholas Day.  I tried explaining what St. Nick's Day was to Bradley on our way to daycare this morning, and he thought we would be going to Nicholas' house!  I think maybe he got the hang of it tonight when we discovered what St. Nick had left in each of our stockings.  This was his face as we brought him his stocking tonight!

 Showing Mommy his new Elmo ornament
 Even the dogs know they get something on their stockings on St. Nick's Day- here they are waiting for their treats to be unwrapped.
 Bradley and I with our stockings
 Bradley with Grandma B & Papa...
ps- the secret to getting him to smile in these pictures? He has candy in his mouth!!!
I am on track to making this a good Christmas for us this year.  I can't spend a ton of money, but I'm making sure the gifts I do buy are thoughtful and not just haphazard purchases.  Bradley can sing most of Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and he knows who all the characters of the manger scene are.  Even though he's little, I'm trying to make sure he understands that while Santa Claus is fun, it's not what Christmas is all about.  Plus when I have my down days during this holiday season I remember the true meaning of Christmas myself, and realize I have so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bye Bye Obligatory Blogging

In the past 30 days I have blogged every single day (except one).  I've turned 30, seen the 7th Harry Potter movie twice, celebrated Thanksgiving, read Hp7, read the books of Acts, Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and tonight will be Colossians, as part of the Daily Walk challenge.  Bradley had his first trip to Chuckie Cheese, and saw Santa Claus, and fellow Brentwood High alums mourned the passing of the great history teacher, Sarah Bayrd, We've laughed, we've cried, it was better than Cats- but now it's over!  I am looking forward to spending my evenings doing Internet shopping or wrapping Christmas presents instead of blogging every single night.  I am still bothered by the fact that I missed that one Friday evening that Rhonda Lu and I went out, but this has been a great exercise for me in discipline of writing.  Now if only I could blog for a living, I would be set!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Penultimate Post of NaBloPoMo

One of my favorite words I learned in college was the word penultimate, or, in plain English, second-to-last.  Being a music major, we were always discussing the penultimate measure in a piece of music, usually to try and pinpoint the cadence chord that ended the piece.  But technical speak aside, this is my second-to-last, or penultimate post for the month of November- Hooray!

I have really strived to find a variety of topics about which to blog, but tonight, I'll come back to an old standard of mine:  what's Bradley up to these days???

Physically:  He's a solid 34 pounds, but don't ask me how many inches tall he is- I forget.  The Buddah belly is still very much in place, and he wears a size 6-7 shoe, and a 2T in clothing. 

Mentally- the kid is smart.  Yes, I know, every mom thinks that about her child, well, so do I.  He recalls songs we sang a month ago, or hears a Bible story one time at church, and then is able to summarize it for me albeit very shortly, when we get home.  I get a sheet sent home that has the Bible story on it, so I know if he's on target or not.  He has several books "memorized" and can repeat verbatim phrases of the pages to me, and what he doesn't know word for word, he's pretty darn close.  He knows his numbers and shapes and colors, and recognizes most of his letters.  We have taught him the answers to such questions as, "Who was the first president of the United States?" "How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky- is it Loo-uh-vul or Loo-ee-ville?" (it's Frankfurt), and my favorite, "Who is the president right now?"  (His answer:  Barack O-Mama!!!!!!)

Verbally- he talks very clearly, has a large vocabulary, and sings songs all the time.  He comes home singing songs he learned at daycare, and just recently he has even started making his own songs up.  This makes Songbird Mama happy.

What he's into: Toy Story 2 right now- especially Buzz Light Year and Jessie.  He still has the attention span of a fruit fly, so he's constantly moving from thing to thing, and is resisting our nightly reading time right now (please, Lord, let this be a phase!). 

Favorite phrases:  "I can't!"  "What's that sound?"  "I want to go to Target to buy some Nerds."   Also recently he has cracked us up telling us he's "ready to rock and roll," and referring to anyone else in the room as "guys."

As we approach 2 1/2 I can see the ebb and flow of the terrible twos.  One week will be awful, the next will be fine.  Right now Bradley is whining and crying over the slightest thing that doesn't go his way (again, please Lord, let this phase pass quickly), but also for the longest time over the past few months his sleeping pattern was erratic, and that has calmed down over the past month, so for that I'm grateful.  I continue to chant the mantra "everything is a phase," and try to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sittin' Stone-faced with Santa

Yesterday we braved the mall to take Bradley to get his picture taken with Santa.  After this experience I can now say with certainty that of all the wonderful things Bradley is, what he is Not is photogenic!  After a tearful, terrible twos morning, I dressed Bradley in this handsome outfit to have his picture take with Santa.  He looks handsome, and also, less than thrilled!  I swear, it's not that he's a solemn child, he just photographs that way!
Round One:  we make it onto Santa's lap.  (Cool Springs Galleria Santa is creepy, by the way.  He has a pony tail behind his fake Santa hair, and a creepy fake-tooth looking smile.)  He's about the unfriendliest Santa too.  He didn't speak to the child unless spoken to, and all during the photo process had a plastered smile upon his face, immune to whatever the child was doing, or not doing as it was in our case. 
There Bradley sat.  Not scared and screaming the way some kids were, but not smiling and excited either.  He just sat there, stone faced and comatose, while me, mom and dad, and the photographer all took turns making fools of ourselves trying to elicit one single smile from Bradley's face.  Meanwhile sat Santa, with his frozen grin.
Here we are, for posterity's sake in front of the Santa sign.
After trying and failing, with no good pictures, I decided to give up and come back another time, but darned if that kid didn't give me the widest grins imaginable afterwards while we were fishing out fruit snacks to give him!  Daunted by the chore of doing this all over again another time, finding another day and time, getting Bradley dressed up and waiting in another long line, was overwhelming.  Suddenly there was a break in the crowd, and very few kids were now waiting in line to see Santa. 

Round Two.  We get back in line.  Bradley makes friends with a 3 year old boy behind us, and is all smiles... until we get back on Santa's lap.  This time, we get a quasi-grin, and this I'll take to avoid going through this all over again.

 So my adorable child refuses to smile for the camera.  That's okay.  A model he's not.  If you ask him about the whole experience he will tell you quite happily that he got to see Santa Claus.  Oh, and for the record, he asked Santa for candy canes for Christmas.  He should be pretty easy to please come Christmas morning!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ways to Laugh: Thanksgiving Thoughts

I was a guest blogger on my friend Bethany's blog this week.  She has a site called The Simple Day  that offers daily posts on simplifying different aspects of life.  I get the posts emailed to me every day, and have picked up some great recipes, and helpful hints around the house by reading her blog.

During the month of November, The Simple Day had guest writers offering their own thoughts on Thanksgiving.  You can read mine HERE .  The Huber side of the family will especially appreciate this, and what's even funnier is that all of the things I wrote about in this post were discussed around our own table at Thanksgiving with no prompting from me, since no one else had read this blog yet.

I feel that Thanksgiving is really the middle child of holidays, easily forgotten or squeezed in between Halloween and Christmas, and so I hope that everyone relished in their Thanksgiving, especially eating all the yummy leftovers, even amidst the Christmas decorations already up!

Friday, November 26, 2010

We came. We saw. We left.

We were some of the people who were out at 10 o'clock last night to go to Toys R Us when it opened.  Let me set the stage for you:  it was a dark and stormy (okay, rainy) night.  We had been through the ads, and knew what we were going for.  Dad and I had a plan.  Divide and conquer.  Get in, get out.  We weren't after the pricey gaming systems or electronics, so we were in no hurry to be the first ones in the store.  I just figured we'd go to Toys R Us that night and get a few things for Bradley while they were on sale, and while nothing else was open.  I guess therein lies the problem:  nothing else was open.

When we turned the corner into the Toys R Us parking lot and saw the bedlam, we laughed incredulously.  I didn't even attempt to park in their lot, and opted for the strip mall parking across the way.  I pulled out my umbrella and off we went.  A little after ten, people were still lined up outside the store to get in!  Some greedily clung to their shopping carts, as if they wouldn't get one upon entering the store.  Our jaws dropped as we continued back towards the end of the line, which we never saw, in the dark, in the rain, when we decided this was a ludicrous attempt, and to give up and go home.  Nothing I wanted to buy was worth this.  I have no idea how long it would have taken us to get in the store, much less check out.  It was a wasted trip.  You Thanksgiving shoppers are crazy- just CRAZY!  I do not include myself in the craziness because I didn't technically shop last night.  I wonder what Jesus must think of all this, I said to dad as we pulled out of the parking spot, while another car with its turn signal on waited for ours.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you and your family and friends have had a wonderful day!
Making punch with Papa
 An audience while preparing the turkey
 More filthy beggars
 My attempt at getting a smiling picture of Bradley in his Thanksiving t-shirt
 Self portrait
A trio of deserts:  pumpkin pie, pecan pie, & chocolate tart with raspberry sauce
Me and Bradley
Laura & her weenies
Akward family photo

Good family photo
Dad's new Facebook profile picture; at least it should be!
Alright, I'm off to put little man to bed, and head to Toys R Us at 10 o'clock to get some toys!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A few off color deer jokes

You know what you call a deer with no eyes?  No-eyed deer.


Know what you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?  Still no-eyed deer.


What about a deer with no eyes and no legs that's cut in two?  Still half no-eyed deer!

Deer hunting season opened this week.  I was talking to a guy at work who's an avid hunter, and I was telling him about the albino deer who used to live somewhere near our house when we lived in Brentwood.   With all the new houses being built near us, we were overrun with deer, and this one albino deer we saw on more than one occasion and even got a picture of it.

My coworker said that you aren't allowed to shoot albino deer.  Why not?, I asked.  Wouldn't you want to rid the population of the mutated species, so as not to further the mutation in future generations?

He agreed, and stated that if anything, you should be allowed to shoot the white deer simply to spare them since they aren't camouflaged in their surrounding.

Are you kidding? I replied.  A white deer in Brentwood totally blends in!  It's the brown deer who are out of place!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a Trying Tuesday

I am so thankful tomorrow is the last day of my work week.  One of my bosses is out this week, so I assumed incorrectly that I'd have a refreshingly light workload.  On the contrary, they are sending more work from home than I can handle and its worse than normal.  I am downhearted after having gotten myself geared up for an easy couple of days.

If I can be frank, besides being a hormonal woman right now, the upcoming holidays have also made me sad.  This was supposed to have been our year to be at home in Florida for Thanksgiving.  I would have been responsible for cooking everything, and would have stressed out over it, but I would have been proud to do so.  I would have opened up my home to anyone who didn't have a place to go, the way we did for Christmas last year.  This year's a little different.

Pulling out Christmas decorations this weekend, most of mine stay in boxes because my current home is not my own, and I have nowhere to put my things.  It's starting to wear on me.  I have this beautiful tree skirt that's red and pink, that I bought from Pier One years ago, and one day, I will have a home of my own, and a tree of my own, to decorate beautifully.  Till then, I will look for silver linings wherever I can find them.

Sorry, I'm no ray of sunshine today, but tomorrow's silver lining is that it's the last day of the work week, AND I get to wear jeans to work, and that's something to be thankful for. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Montage Monday

Welcome to Montage Monday!  Tonight's montage is all about the latest sports updates, since there seem to have been a flurry of them today.

If Tennessee's Bruce Pearl can violate pretty much every NCAA  recruiting violation there is, and only get suspended 8 games, then why can't Enes Kanter, Kentucky's star recruit, get suspended 8 games and play instead of being suspended from playing indefinitely?

Titans QB Vince Young is said to be out for a "season ending thumb surgery," so says the ESPN crawler across the bottom of my screen repetitively.  My opinion?  Vince might be having surgery, and he might be out for the rest of the season, but the two are not mutually exclusive.  I'd say it has more to do with VY throwing a hissy fit at the end of the game yesterday, and then walking out on his coach as to why he won't be playing any more this season.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto didn't win the triple crown, but he did just win the coveted National League MVP!  Dad called George tonight to ask him how much he'd sell his rookie Votto jersey for, which you may remember , George used as a fishing rag before he knew who Votto was.

The Vikings fired their coach Brad Childress today.  Last year the Vikings got one game away from the Superbowl, and this year they're sucking it up big time.  I just can't see how one mostly bad season can make a team forget where they were a year ago.  Can we really demand instant success from players and coaches?  Can we also all agree that Brett Favre needs to go back to Mississippi and be done with the NFL finally?

I am currently blogging and watching tonight's UK game versus Oklahoma on dvr.  Nobody tell me the outcome of this game before I can finish it!  It had better be a good one.  Currently UK is ranked #9, and all anyone wants to talk about is the 5 recruits we lost in the first round of the NBA draft last year.  Surely you don't get a top ten ranking based on last year's NBA recruits.  Surely some of this year's players warrant a little more publicity, and I'm not talking about Enes Kanter, who can't play because he's too busy hanging out with NCAA violating pal, Bruce Pearl.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Remembering the Battle of Franklin

Sometimes I forget that I live in the midst of a hotbed of Civil war memorials.  You can easily take the historic markers for granted living in this area, where so many named battles from the Civil War took place.

November 30th marks the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin.  The City of Franklin celebrated its heritage this weekend by hosting Blue & Gray Days, where visitors could tour battlefields and historic homes, see soldier reenactments, and purchase items from period vendors.

Last night, the grounds adjacent to the Confederate cemetery of the Carnton House was lit with 10,000 luminaries to represent the 10,000 casualties of of the 5 hour bloody battle of Franklin.  We live so close to the former battlefield that we heard the cannons going off as part of the ceremony, so we hopped in the car and drove over to witness the spectacle.  The sight of those luminaries brightly lit in the dark night was a breathtakingly sad reminder of what fellow Americans did to one another so long ago.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Too busy to blog

I've tried really hard to stick with my goal of posting every day during the NaBloPoMo November challenge, but sometimes living life makes things too busy to blog about it!

There simply was no time to blog yesterday.  I came home from work and played with Bradley for 30 minutes before dashing out the door again to meet Rhonda. We had a fun girls' night planned, and everything about the evening had our early twenties written all over it!  We met at the Brentwood Waffle House, which is where we girls used to always meet up and carpool to whichever downtown destination we were headed.  Last night a local Nashville singer/songwriter Andy Davis was doing a show of only his old songs at the Curb Cafe on Belmont's campus.  This was perfect for Rhonda and me, since we really only like his old stuff anyways!

I observed the mostly collegiate crowd and reminisced on all the concerts and shows I used to go to in my younger days, but then would look at the time on my phone and was brought back to the present by wondering what Bradley was up to, and judging by the time, wonder if he was in bed yet.

The set list was just what we wanted to hear, and the commentary from Andy about the songs and how they came to be made me appreciate them even more.  Oh- did I mention the show was free??  That made it all the more appealing of an event!  The time before and after the concert was perfect for me and Rhonda Lu to catch up on life, and we went and grabbed sushi at a place called Zumi in Hillsboro Village after Rhonda tweeted to find out where a good sushi place nearby was, and her friends responded.  Isn't technology amazing?

Zumi did not disappoint.  Since I don't eat fish or any seafood, I am always on the lookout for sushi places with chicken options, and the spicy chic" roll that I tried was flavorful and had a nice little kick to it that I was washing down with iced tea long after I'd finished the roll.  Rhonda got one called the Firecracker that had shrimp and crab meat, which I obviously was not tasting, but it looked pretty, and Rhonda said was very good.  We laughed about the random chair, and the bottle of Oil of Olay in the women's bathroom, finished our sushi and iced tea, shivering all the while, and called it a night around 10 o'clock; she, back to her hubby Joe, and me, back to my Kentucky Wildcats.

I got home just in time for the second half of Kentucky's ball game, but after getting ready for bed and snuggling up on the couch to watch the game, there was no time left for blogging, reading Corinthians, or Harry Potter, so I've had a lot of catching up to do today!  I didn't even make it to the end of the basketball game.  I was falling asleep with 6 minutes to go, so I trudged upstairs and called it a night.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I will be leaving in a short while to go stand in line for my free tickets to the early premier of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (she says smugly).  So there will be no blog tonight except to say, that's where I'm going tonight, and I couldn't be more excited.

So let me get this straight, dad says to me and me.  You two are going to a kid's movie tonight, and the kid is staying here?

That is correct.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Eye Roller Review

So I caved and bought the Garnier eye roller ball thingie, otherwise known by its official name, Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Eye Roller, a week and a half ago.  It claims to instantly tighten and brighten the under eye area, and also promises to lighten dark circles over time.  I said I would give a product review, so here it goes.  

I apply my moisturizer in the morning, and then roll the pen under each eye back and forth.  The pen deposits a light liquid concealer.  I pat it in gently, and then apply makeup over top.

The first time I applied the roller ball, I felt a pleasant tingling sensation a few minutes after the concealer had set.  One of the ingredients in the pen is caffeine, which helps constrict the blood vessels around the eye area, firming up the skin.  Disappointingly, I haven't felt the tingly sensation since that first morning.  Also, I haven't been able to tell a difference daily or over time yet that my eyes look any different.  

Oh well.  It was worth a try, and I'll continue to use it until it's gone.  Who knows, maybe after an extended period of time I'll notice a bigger difference.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A bit of randomness

Because I'm tired tonight, and have had my fill of tv, cherry pie and frozen yogurt, I am itching to get upstairs and read my chapters in Romans and then some Harry Potter before I zonk out for the night.  However, I am halfway through this NaBloPoMo challenge, and am committed to seeng it through!  So I give you, a bit of randomness:

Someone please give the girl on Parenthood her straightening iron back.  Her kinky fro hairdo is beyond unfortunate.

It only took me a few months at work, but I have officially earned my nickname "Pinky," back.

It's amazing what people will tell you, and ask you to pray for when you really follow through and pray for the people you say you're going to pray for.  What an awesome privilege and challenge!

I MAY be getting to see Harry Potter on Thursday night at 7:30pm For Free.  Yes, you people who keep up with these things, that's 4 1/2 hours before it officially releases at midnight.  Oh, I hope this pans out!

Does anyone have the new Glee Christmas cd?  I'm very tempted to purchase this with my new itunes card.

To Garth, or not to Garth, that is the question.

A man sat in our glass-windowed conference room all day yesterday wearing a red sweater, shirt, and tie.  He looked like a Mr. Rogers twin.  All day long I was singing Mr. Rogers songs both in my head, and out loud to the amusement of others.

I want to dance in the rain with umbrellas and puddles like they did on Glee tonight- it looked like so much fun!

And with that stream of consciousness, I'm out!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reading Toy Research

Help, all you moms of little ones, out there!  I'm desperately researching the latest technology toys for Christmas so that I can mold my future genius so that he's reading War & Peace by age 3!

Any of you with suggestions of learning and educational toys for a 2 year old would be welcome, but I'm specifically looking at getting Bradley either a V-Tech VReader or a Leapfrog Tag Junior.  Both are toys geared at instilling an early love for books, and teaching them the building blocks for reading.

From my preliminary research, here's what I've gathered:

The Leapfrog Tag Junior is for children ages 2-4.  You buy the Book Pal (on sale at Walmart right now for $28.54), and then purchase books to go along with it.  Books are anywhere from $6-$14.  The child then holds the chubby Book Pal, touches it to the pages, and the book reads aloud to your child.  More info from Walmart's and LeapFrog's descriptions: 
  • Download audio for your child's books, and keep up to five at a time on your book pal!
  • See your child's progress through the online LeapFrog Learning Path, and get printable activities to expand the learning!
  • Each Tag Junior board book introduces a different preschool skill - such as the alphabet, counting or social play - through 24 playful activities and more than 130 audio responses.
  • Open-ended questions and fun sound effects encourage children to take charge, as they touch any part of any page to bring words, pictures or activities to life.
  • After their child has played, parents can connect the book pal to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path to see their child's progress and get printable activities to expand the learning!
  • Included sampler book, If I Were.., has 16 activities and over 70 audio responses.
The other front runner I'm looking into is the V-Tech VReader.

It retails for $54 at Walmart right now, and is for kids ages 3-7.  Unlike the Tag Junior, books are not something separate to keep up with, you download them right to the system.  It's more money upfront, but should grow with your child longer, assuming they will play with the same toy for 4 years.  (I can't think of any toy that I played with for that long, with the exception of my Barbie House.) 
  • 4.3" color touchscreen
  • Plays fully animated stories with story narration, character voices, vivid graphics and music and sounds
  • Includes 3 ways to play: watch the story, reading games and story dictionary
  • USB port and SD memory card slot for expansion
  • You can download books online- looks like the books are about $20
  • Many titles available online to download for free
My preliminary research aside, mydilema is that I like the price of the Tag Junior, but the downside is keeping track of the books and the chubby pen that goes with it.  (Of course both products have cases you can purchase separately, but I won't be doing that)  It also is only geared for ages 2-4.  On the other hand, the VReader would grow with him longer, and it's all one piece, and the screen is a touch screen and seemingly more interactive.  But yikes, the cost!  Any savvy shoppers out there have any advice based upon experience, hearsay, or stumbled across these reviews while doing your own Chrstmas shopping research? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A rolling Moss gathers no (End)zone

Randy Moss went 1 for 5 for catches today with no touchdowns, but this post doesn't have all that much to with our newest Titan.

Getting home from church today, I switched Bradley into a Titans shirt so he could change out of his dressy church shirt. Once he was set, I then changed into jeans, and my own Titans shirt. Coming downstairs for lunch, I then noticed that mom had her Titans shirt on. Moments later, dad walked in with his team shirt on as well! Amused with our matchy-matchy-ness, we finished lunch and then I put Bradley down for his nap, and watched the first half of the game. A little while later, during halftime, Laura and George came over, and when they walked in, darned if they too didn't have Titans shirts on! It was too comical, so it called for a family photo.



While Bradley napped, Laura and I went shopping. Coming out of the first store, I said to her, "hey, you have an iphone, check the score of the game. I'd feel like a poser with this shirt on if I didn't know!"

A little while later as we were leaving the mall, we checked the score again and discovered that the Titans had let Miami beat them. Good thing we checked, because as we were walking to the car, a man shook his head sadly at us, and remarked that it hadn't been a good day for our team. Thankfully we knew the final score and could agree with him epathetically instead of looking like poser fans withour shirts on, who missed the 2nd half of Randy Moss' lackluster performance with his new team to go shopping instead!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cheesin for Chucky

Today was a first for us- Bradley and I met up with Rachel and Mason and went to Chuck E. Cheese's for an impromptu play date.  I had been wanting to take Bradley to Chuck E. Cheese, so I was glad for the excuse to go.  It has been years since I was in one, so I had no idea what to expect when I walked in on a Saturday afternoon.  There was a line to get in the place, and a line to get out- the place was an absolute zoo!  We each cashed in $5 in tokens, and Bradley and Mason were happy to play the games and ride the rides while Rachel and I caught up.  The boys chose rides side by side, and after each ride they would giddily ask for "one more time" so we'd give them another token each, and continue our conversation.  Bradley tried his hand at ski ball which was always one of my favorites.  He wasn't strong enough to roll the balls, so I let him throw them (carefully) and he managed to make it work- only once or twice did the ball go awry into the lane next to us.

After playing for a while, the tokens were gone, and Rachel and I made the executve decision Not to eat pizza at the madhouse they call Chuck E. Cheese.  Try explaining that to a 2 year old, that it's time to go after I've just brought him to the place where a kid can be a kid.  One small meltdown later, we were on our way next door to Jason's Deli for dinner.  Both made for a fun Saturday evening excursion.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Friday night agenda

It's been a perfectly low key night here in the Bradley household, and I love it.  Pizza for dinner while viewing our brand new copy of Toy Story 2, a bath for Bradley, and then watching the Kentucky basketball game on dvr.  I also plan on starting to re-read the 7th Harry Potter book in preparation for the new movie, do a little cleaning, write some thank you notes, and do my Bible reading for the night.  We're a month and a half into the Daily Walk and tonight we begin my favorite- the book of Romans.  Hmm, it's after 10 o'clock!  If I'm gonna do all that stuff, I'd better hop off here and get crackin!

Here's to the start of a productive weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Let them eat Steak!

I'm lacking motivation to blog tonight- this NaBloPoMo thing is tough!  Part of the reason I have no desire to write tonight is that I'm stuffed from dinner.  We met Laura & George in Spring Hill for dinner at Logan's.  I saw an advertisment last night for Logan's, so when it was suggested we go out to eat, I suggested Logan's and could not stop thinking about those warm, buttery yeast rolls for the rest of the day.

They have this special going on right now where you can get 2 steak entrees, an appetizer, and a desert for $19.99.  Throw in the customary 2 sides with your steak, and all the buttery rolls you can eat, and it is a feast for cheap.  It was delicious, and now my rare craving for red meat has been satiated for at least another 6 months.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CMA bangs and busts

It was Country music's biggest night, so of course I had a running commentary going while watching the show.  I am a big fan of DVR when it comes to these awards shows.  We fast forwarded through the commercials, and through the annoying acts (Reba, Sugarland, and Rascall Flatts), and the boring acts (George Straight, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley), and skipped straight to the banter between hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and the acts and awards we wanted to see.  Without further ado, I give you my biggest bangs and busts of the 2010 CMA awards:
Performances:
Bangs:  Brad Paisley with his awesome tribute to country music
Taylor Swift- she looked elegant at the piano, and for one who's usually pitchy live, she got stronger as the song went on.
Carrie Underwood- her dress was gorgeous, the stage and setting was regal, and she did was she does best- stood still, looked pretty, and sang!
Miranda Lambert- for a girl who's as country as cornbread, she can really rock.  (with one caveat- she came dangerously close to pulling a JoDee Mesina dance move twirling in circles on stage- my Nashville girls will remember this horror)

Busts:  Sugarland.  Yep, I fast forwarded through this and still can say without a doubt it was awful.  Jennifer Nettles theatrics at the song's opening complete with "the robot" dance and a fake tutu were enough to make me want to throw the remote at the tv.
Rascall Flatts- I hate the song that they performed, and the cheesy Vegas wedding chapel backdrop and stage props

Hosts
Bangs:  Brad mistaking Lady A for Lady Gaga..."are you gonna at least wear your meat outfit?"
            I know the millions of fans who are watching on tv are probably thinking right now, where's Modern Family?
Busts:  a far-stretching that's what she said joke

Fashion

Bangs:  For her age, Cheryl Crowe looked amazing.  If only we are well so blessed with great genes, and a great plastic surgeon.
Reba Mcintire sparkled in a royal blue gown
Carrie Underwood- I liked all her dresses, with the exception of the tutu one that was her last outfit, but specifically this dusty purple ball gown was gorgeous, and she pulled off the messy hair where others before her failed.
Busts:

Kellie Pickler, what has happened to you?  Is she prego?  Nope, she's just filled out, and that big hair and dress didn't do her any favors.

Another bust- EMO goes country with the Family Perry

Other honorable Bust mentions: LeeLann Rimes in her fierce 'do, Martina McBride's awful hair, and Carrie Underwood's last tutu dress.  And I can't even mention Kid Rock's t shirt and jeans that looked like he rolled out of bed and came to Nashville.  What were they all thinking?
Power Couples:
Bangs:  Power Couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert each took home their respective vocalist of the year awards, and every other award or act it seemed featured Miranda.  I'm personally happy for them.  Neither of them are newcomers, and its nice to see them rising to the top after hovering in medicrity for so long.
Busts:  Tim & Faith have long faded into the distance, and there's really no other strong couples making headlines these days.

Closing Thoughts:

Gweneth, we get it.  You're promoting your what-looks-to-be-cheesy upcoming film.
I am always pleased when Brad Paisley wins (Entertainer of the Year) and could someone please explain to me, and the people who vote and nominate, the difference between song and single of the year?  It's late, people.  That's all I got.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Crestfallen

For my birthday I was given a selection of truffles from a local chocolate store.  These truffles were hand picked for me and my tastes.  A couple of days after my b-day, mom asked me if I had tried any of them yet.  I had completely forgotten about them- they'd been buried at the bottom of my bag with all my other gifts and cards.  After dinner that night, I went up to my room to try some of the chocolate and satisfy my after-dinner sweet tooth.

Imagine my dismay when approaching my room, and I spot a ripped bag, and an empty container on the floor with tiny empty papers where chocolates once were nestled.  Crestfallen.  That's the perfect word to describe that moment.

Stockwell had struck again.  Yep.  About ten years ago for Valentine's Day the canine chocolate connoisseur ransacked my brand new box of Godiva truffles leaving me with a shiny gold box and no chocolates to enjoy.  And darn it if history didn't repeat itself!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Taking the Car over to The Turnip Truck

Queen MAB picked me up on my usual street corner (no, really!) and we went to the Tunip Truck for lunch today.  Apparently there's one location in east Nashville, and then there's this new locale in the Gulch.  What is the Turnip Truck?  Well I'm glad you asked!  It's an organic/natural foods grocery store with a cafe/food bar inside.  MA selected a salad, I chose a cup of french onion soup, and we both opted for hot pressed prosciutto and goat cheese paninis.  We also each selected bottles of organic iced tea to compliment our fare.

The weather was mild enough for us to take advantage of their outdoor seating, although there is indoor seating available as well.  Food wise, the panini was heavenly; the soup had an odd taste to it.  I probably would not get the french onion again.  We also sampled fresh homemade juice before we left made from carrots, apples, and ginger.  I'm not a fan of ginger enough to want to drink it in a juice I discovered.

After finishing our food and conversation, MA and I walked around the store to see what they had to offer.  Somehow the first aisle we perused happened to be the baby items, and as I pointed out the gdiapers (biodegradable liners that insert into a re-usable outer shell) a quirky stock boy caught wind of our conversation and inserted his two cents.  "Fuzzy bunnies,"
he said out of the blue,
"that's what we call them"
(referring to the diapers).  I think our blank expressions caused him to regret the interjection, and I believe it was Mary Anna who responded, "we?"
inquisitively since she expertly noted that he was not wearing a wedding ring.  All he would say was that "they" had 2 little ones at home, but it was kind of weird since he didn't clarify that they were his kids.  At any rate, he did make me feel rotten by quoting one statistic says that half of the waste in landfills are disposable diapers, and that the disposable diapers aren't biodegradable, aka, all two-plus years of Bradley's diapers are sitting somewhere rotting and stinking, but not breaking down or decaying the way a McDonald's french fry will stay in tact essentially forever in your stomach.  This tangent with the quirky stock boy went on for several minutes before he awkwardly agreed that this was a random conversation to be having, and walked away with us still having no idea what he was talking about with the fuzzy bunnies comment!

Let's just say the Turnip Truck is an interesting place both to dine and to shop.  I will be returning in the future as there is rumor of a gelato bar opening in the summer months. 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Just another Saturday night

Only 6 days into this whole NaBloPoMo and already I'm struggling for inspiration.  Back in the infant years of the Divadomain, my blogs documented the concerts, movies, and nights spent at Tootsie's and all the hilarious anecdotes that went with those events.  Now, the most exciting thing about my weekend was getting to spend my birthday gift cards at Target today.  And with those gift cards came new anti-aging moisturizer and one of those cool roller ball eye thingies meant to alleviate dark circles and puffiness.  Is this what it means to be 30?  To spend the weekend grocery shopping and watching Redbox rentals?  (Datenight was tonight- definitely work renting, but glad I didn't pay to see it in the theater).

I suppose so, but it also meant snuggling on the couch watching The Jungle Book with Bradley, and playing chase with him, and organizing the kitchen pantry; also things I enjoy very much as it were.  And I guess I'm okay with that! 

PS-I'll let you know how the eye-roller-ball thingie works.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fire Drilled

This has been one tough week at work.  No matter how hard I work, the assignments continue to flood my inbox as fast as I can crank them out, so you can imagine how dismayed I was yesterday afternoon when the fire alarm went off in our building.  A booming voice came over the loudspeakers and assured everyone that this was only a drill.  Immediately people started to get up from their desks and confer with one another.  Does this mean we have to exit the building?  Normally they warn us the morning of fire drills via email.  They also threaten to fine us if we don't comply with the drill procedure and meet outside on a particular street corner so everyone could be accounted for. 

Today there was no warning, and I hesitated to leave my desk, knowing how much work was looming over me.  Would I really get fined?  Or fired?  Not likely, but the rule follower in me felt compelled to grab my jacket and down the 19 flights of stairs I went.  They close the elevators down for these stupid drills.  Ugh.  As soon as I started down the staircase I realized I had to pee.  Why oh why hadn't I gone a half an hour an ago when I needed to?  Now here I was being herded like cattle down the stairwell, getting dizzy from circling round and round 38 times (2 flights of stairs per floor) and it would be who-knows-how-long before we'd be able to return.  Once we finally reached the great outdoors, down to our specified corner we marched.  I am thankful I wore my jacket.  Others were not so insightful to think to put theirs on as it was chilly and windy.

Once we got the all-clear, hundreds of employees all started hovering around the two sets of doors into the building, and then once inside, we made our way towards the elevators.  Have you ever seen so many people eager to get back to work? I remarked aloud.  It really was quite humorous.  You'd think we'd all be grateful for a paid break in our daily activities, but instead it seemed people couldn't get back inside fast enough.  Maybe it was because like me, they'd been too busy to pee and were now paying the price.  I pushed my way to the front and got on one of the first elevators, making a pit-stop at the bathroom before getting back to work.

I'd say this was a learning experience for me, and that now it's been (fire) drilled into my brain:  when you gotta go, you gotta go.  The work can wait.  Other things can't.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Halloween recap

Last year, Bradley didn't know what candy was, and couldn't understand why we would knock on a person's door but not go in.  This year, he did much better.  With my prompting, he would knock on the door, say trick or treat, happy halloween, and thank you.  And we watched the post Halloween candy sugar rush happen before our eyes, and right before bedtime no less!

Because I'm tired and getting sick, and because I am sticking to my NaBloPoMo goal to blog every day this month, I got lazy and created a Halloween picture collage.  As you can see, Bradley was an adorable dinosaur.  I had to correct one well-meaning lady who thought he was a dragon when we trick-or-treated at her house. 

I was sick as a dog on Halloween, but I put on my big girl panties and carved pumpkins that morning, took Bradley to the trunk or treat event at Rolling Hills Community Church late that afternoon (which was excellent, for any of you in town with kids) and then trick or treating in our neighborhood that night.  By Halloween night I was beat!  I had some kind of stomach bug, and now it looks like there may be a sinus infection creeping in.  Anyways, B loved Halloween this year.  Any ghost he saw was always a "friendly ghost" because that's what they're referred to in his favorite Karen Katz Halloween book, "Where is Baby's Pumpkin?" 

In fact, Bradley liked trick or treating so much, that a few days later on my birthday, when prompted by Grandma and Papa to knock on my door that morning to give me a present, he said "Trick or treat" when I opened the door instead of "Happy Birthday."  It was too cute.

Oh, one more thing of note- I attempted to carve an Elmo face on our pumpkin, but you can't really tell. 

Alright folks, this Diva is off to to her reading and then to bed! 

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Remembering Sarah Bayrd

The world is now short one great educator.  I was truly saddened to learn this morning that one of the best teachers I ever had as a student, my high school AP U.S. History teacher, Ms. Sarah Bayrd was killed in a car accident while traveling in Greece with a friend.

This woman commanded attention.  She was a big lady with an even bigger personality.  Each day she greeted her "ladies and gentlemen" and read us random historical facts from her famous Book of Days.  "It's 1929, Ahhh, Mr. President, you are????" To which someone would answer with the corresponding president in office during the fact from that day in history.  She would always point out historical biographies as "poolside reading" whenever appropriate in the lesson, and classes years above you would warn you for your turn for the infamous Meat Packing Plant lecture day when she would enlighten you on Upton St. Claire's The Jungle, which brand of orange juice continues to allow the most bugs with the FDA (Donald Duck OJ), what hot dogs are really made of, and the legendary Bacon Hands anecdote.

The outpouring of comments on the Facebook tribute pages set up for her from decades worth of students is proof enough that this educator touched lives in a way that is larger than life.  Ms. Bayrd, you will be truly missed.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Milliblog

Drumroll, please.  This is Divadomain Blog post number one thousand... and on the 9th anniversary of my 21st birthday, no less.  Wow... I didn't even realize I was close to hitting this blogging milestone until I clicked on new post, and the "old posts" number was at 999. 

Turning 30 today has been suprisingly wonderful.  I am beyond blessed with amazing family, friends, and coworkers, and even Facebook friends who come out of the woodworks just to say Happy Birthday, and then don't talk to me for the rest of the year (It's okay... I do that too).

I figure, if Jesus can begin his public ministry at age 30, then it must be an okay age for me to have new beginnings too.  Here's to being, as Jennifer Garner would say, "Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!"

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaBloPoMo

I'm joining Natalie and others in this- the National Blog Posting Month.  The goal is to post something- anything- every day for an entire month.  I already blogged tonight about my trip to Lexington, but here's another quick update.  I'm still doing the Daily Walk reading through the new testament, and have been so excited and encouraged by all the people coming out of the woodworks to tell me that they have joined me in this venture.  In fact, I'm running upstairs now to catch up on my chapters in John.  I'm also trying to wait it out and see if the Giants are going to win a world series here as I write this.  But I digress.  Happy NaBloPoMo, everyone!

Big Blue Weekend

Last weekend I took a road trip to my old college town Lex-vegas.  I drove up Friday after work and stayed with Ellen, who was my potluck freshman roommate.  We met up with Stephanie, a friend we met in the dorm our freshman year, and who would later become my roommate senior year at the infamous Sugar Shack.  Stephanie's friend from summer camp counseling together, Camper Anne also made the trip up.  

We met at a Mexican restaurant in town late Friday evening, and reconvened our "Group Therapy" meeting back to Steph's house as we shared relationship stories and cackled over 2 bottles of wine and stayed up til 3am.  Stephanie, ever the consummate hostess had even bought these cute little cocktail napkins for the weekend.  Here's a picture of them, but in case you can't read the text from the photo:
Top 5 Reasons Why Women Drink:
1.  Lying Men
2.  Cheating Men
3.  Insensitive Men
4.  Helpless Men
5.  Lack of Men 

Saturday we met up on campus at UK to tailgate for the Kentucky-Georgia game.  We had a great spot on south campus where we watched girl after girl on her way to the sporting event wearing a blue top, black mini skirt, and tall brown boots.  Oh, and they were carrying wristlets, and carried no jacket.  WTH???

Um, I guess I'm too far removed from college to understand this, but I have a few questions:
1.  Since when did it become acceptable to wear black and brown together
2.  Why did no one tell these poor coeds that it was a chilly night game
3.   Did someone really send out a campus-wide email to let the females all know exactly how they were supposed to dress?  I wish we'd snapped a picture of them coming through in hordes, all dressed alike.

We gave Steph a hard time all night because she chose to wear a hot pink t-shirt, when we were playing the Georgia Bulldogs whose fans were clad in the similar shade of red.  Here's the UK game montage:

The next day was my sorority's Founder's Day.  It was Delta Zeta's 108th birthday, plus The Alpha Theta chapter at Kentucky's 10th year of being on campus since recolonizing the year before I pledged.  It was nice to catch up with some old sorority sisters and reminisce about our days of living in the house together.  We also toured the house and marveled at all the improvements that have been made since our time in college, and we took the customary picture in front of the tree in the front yard of our house.


Rounding out my girls' weekend in Lexington was a day at the races at Keeneland.  The weather was windy but warm.  I only bet on one race, but chose my lucky horse based on two very important factors: The horse's name, Sing a Few Bars, and the color of the jockey number on the horse:  pink.  These 2 factors lead me to believe that this was my lucky horse, going to make me rich.  I placed my $2 bet, and was out $2.  The dumb horse didn't even place!  Oh well.  It was fun for about a minute which is about how long the race lasted.
Thank you to Ellen and Stephanie, my wonderful hosts.  It was a busy weekend, but should definitely be a yearly event.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My, My My, twice bitten, never shy

Last week there was an "incident" at daycare.  Apparently Bradley tried to take a toy away from one of his friends.  He wouldn't turn loose of it, so his friend hauled off and bit Bradley on the shoulder.  Hard.  There were top and bottom teeth marks to prove it.  I thought it was funny that the daycare director wasn't allowed to say who bit him, but that Bradley told me straight away who the culprit was.

Fast forward to a few days later, I drove straight to Laura & George's Sunday night from Kentucky, meeting everyone else there for dinner.  I was super excited to see Bradley since I hadn't seen him since I dropped him off at daycare on Friday morning.  Also, L&G just rescued a year-old dachshund puppy who needed a good home, so this was our opportunity to meet the little fella, since they just got him on Friday.

You can guess what might come next.  After dinner, we were all sitting around, and Max (the new dog) and Juju were playing on the couch, with several of us sitting close by.  Bradley, playing and standing in front of the couch, reached forward towards the dogs, and in a nanosecond, Max bit Bradley on the hand.  The commotion that followed was epic.  I ran over and scooped up Bradley and rocked him in my lap, and then grabbed his hand to examine it, and was shocked to see blood in several places.  George grabbed Max and put him in his cage, then carried him upstairs.  I rushed Bradley over to the sink where we ran his hand in water, so you've got the dog yelping from his cage upstairs, Bradley crying hysterically downstairs, Laura apologizing profusely (even though I do not blame her for this accident in the slightest) and me, mom, and dad looking at the multiple punctures in B's had trying to determine if he needs stitches while trying to calm and distract Bradley.  It was chaotic to say the least.  I decided better to be safe than sorry, so off to Williamson Medical Center ER we went.

In the back of my mind I always knew I'd be at the ER some day with my little boy, I just didn't think it would happen so soon.  Bradley was the darling of the ER, entertaining everyone with Toy Story quotes, and dancing and talking to everyone.  In the picture below you can see the two places on his hand that were the worst.
We had a really nice nurse named Dinah, and since Bradley has a favorite Kindermusik song called Shiny Dinah, it wasn't hard for him to remember her name.  He charmed all the nurses at the nurse's station by telling them all his nurse's name.  Several hours later, they sent us home with no stitches, but B's hand wrapped up in a splint, and gave us an antibiotic to take to try and prevent his bites from getting infected.  Here's a shot of Bradley on Monday morning with his hand all wrapped up.
He really was very good throughout the ordeal, and I got an unexpected day off work on Monday to look after Bradley, and make sure he kept his hand bandaged.  We went to story time at the library and ran a few errands, and I daydreamed at what it was like being a stay at home mom. 

Now, several days later, the hand is healing just fine.  The fate of the fury biter is TBD, but our little guy is doing great.  How bizarre is it to think he got bit twice in a matter of days, though?  It makes me think of that awful 80's song.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Picking out Pumpkins

They say Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.  Well all I wanted to do was pick one perfect pumpkin today from the pumpkin patch, and things would have been just peachy.  The weather was pretty, with plentiful sunshine.  Alas, the pesky, persistent Tennessee sunshine is why the pumpkin patch at Gentry's Farm in Franklin was all picked-over and pared down.  Apparently the perpetual  heat we had this summer caused the pumpkins to parch and prune up, and thus the salvageable pumpkins had already been plucked, leaving a barren patch.  Instead, patrons perused up and down aisles of pallets with piles of pumpkins already picked from the patch. 

I had my hopes up to get that perfect photo of Bradley in row among rows of pumpkins, and picking out that propitious pumpkin for our porch.  Instead, we posed for photo ops in front of pick-up trucks with prickly hay, painted signs, and of course, pumpkins!

(Yes, they're real, and they're spectacular!!!)
The proverbial family photo
Bradley liked the petite pumpkins and gourds, but of course then began using them as perfunctory balls, projecting them across the premises, so I promptly procured the gourds from him, and pushed him on to pick out a more prodigious pumpkin, one that would be possible to carve, and too portly for him to pitch!

Bradley also played and ran all over the property, pitching a fit when it was time to part!  All in all, it was a rather a pedestrian excursion, but I was pleased to procure the paramount symbol of Halloween for our carving pleasure, posses some good pictures from the outing, and support a local proprietor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How funky is your Chicken-Raptor?

I took advantage of the warm weather, and decided to take Bradley to the Ravenwood High School homecoming football game this past Friday night.  This was his first football game of the season, except that when we got in the car to leave, he asked about Braedon & Garrick- his cousins whom he visited in August, when he watched part of Braedon's jamboree football game.  I could not believe Bradley's memory goes that far back, yet when I ask him what he did at daycare today, he can't tell me a thing!

Here's how the football game went: 

1st quarter:  After purchasing dinner from the concession stand, Bradley sat on Grandma's lap and ate cut up hot dog, chips, & popcorn.

First half of 2nd quarter:  He entertained those around us by shouting "Go Raptors" and crawled and climbed from lap to lap.

Second half of 2nd quarter:  Mom and I took Bradley down to watch the band play, and meet the "chicken."  No matter how many times I corrected him, Bradley firmly believed that Ravenwood's mascot was a chicken.  Bradley then ran around, dancing and jumping in circles, gaining the attention of many a high school girl. 
He stood at the fence and watched the older kids play football longingly.

Too wound up to sit still in the bleachers
Mom and Bradley in their Raptors shirts
Halftime:  we made our way back up to the stands by bribing Bradley with fruit snacks when we got there.
 
3rd quarter:  Bradley climbed from bleacher to bleacher, lap to lap, and I did my best to keep him from eating food crumbs from the stands.  Ravenwood was losing to Emo's alma mater, so we left soon after the 3rd quarter started as it was already past B's bedtime. 
 
Not a total failure as far as outings go, but it's a good thing Ravenwood was losing and I didn't care about the game, because I cant you a darn thing that happened in the game from keeping track of a two year old!

Fun with Frinkles

This working thing's for the birds!  I am too tired at night to do everything I need/want to do after Bradley goes to bed, so my blogging has lacked both in content and in frequency.  My apologies to my two readers.

Getting into the Halloween spirit, Mom & Laura made cupcakes on Saturday, and decorated them with Halloween candy sprinkles.  They left a single cupcake for Bradley to decorate, and I gave them crap about that.  "As much as you two love to cook, and be in the kitchen, and as much as you (mom) love to let Bradley help out in the kitchen, and all you leave him is one measley cupcake to decorate??!!"  Yeah, I came down a little hard on them. 

So we grabbed 2 more scantily sprinkled sweets, and let him decorate a whopping 3 Halloween cupcakes!
Please note the amount of orange and black sprinkles on the table!
Getting a mouthful of "frinkles"... we're having a hard time saying "SP," so we talk a lot about Fiders, Busghetti, and Frinkles these days.

Showing off his messy face, and consequently, his new big-boy hair cut that he got this day.