Thursday, January 28, 2010

NOLA-bound!

Ahhh, that's better! After an hour and a half of crying, laying him down in his crib, getting him back up again, wash, rinse, repeat, Bradley is finally asleep for his afternoon nap! Now it's time for me to turn it up to high gear and get everything done because tomorrow, me and the little guy are New Orleans bound to visit with the other DIVAS!!!!

Since Bart and Ari will be moving far away to the great white north soon, this will almost certainly be our last DIVA convention for a while, or at least one that is within driving distance for all of us. Get ready NOLA, cause the Saints are about to come marching in!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

karma

You know what they say about Karma, and what goes around comes around? Well it's true.

Saturday was my friend Kim's 31st birthday, and I reveled in every opportunity to remind her how "old" she was. It just so happens that it was also her son Andrew's birthday the same day, so we attended his birthday party at Tiger Point Park. It was a blustery day here in FL, so I decided to style my hair in youthful pigtails to get my hair out of my face.

I am still getting used to the brunette color, but so far the response has been nothing but positive from everyone around me. I miss the blonde, but I was determined to dye my tresses back to their natural color to give myself a few years of necessary-regular-color-appointment- free hair.

Back to the park. There I am standing at the playground with my other friends, watching our kids run around, when Brian come up behind me and gleefully shouts that he's found a gray hair!

A WHAT? I shouted agahst. No you didn't.

To prove his point, our friend Amy checked my pigtail part, as I stood there in rigid anticipation, and sure enough, Brian plucked it and handed the proof to me. There it was in my hand, unable to be denied; a long brown strand tipped with silvery gray, in all its wirey glory.

I'm not even 30 yet, I whined, as everyone around me chuckled in amusement, and Kim, my "old" 31 year old friend pointed and laughed. Yes, what goes around comes around.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twenty-Ten in Tennessee

Now that January is almost over, I figured it was about time I crossed "New Year's Blog" off my to-do list! Too behind to tell many stories. My aunt, uncle and cousins spent new year's with us. On new year's day, we added all of my brother-in-law George's family to the mix for dinner and had 21 people in the house. Lots of craziness, lots of good food, and lots of good times. The pictures say it all, or most of it, anyways.

Christmas 2009 family photo

All in the family: George, Laura, aunt Missy, uncle Michael holding cousin Addison, the DIVA, cousin Braedon, cousin Garrick, mom, Bradley, & dad

Don't be jealous of our sparkley new year's hats!

Look out 2010- here we come!

Kitchen duty- me and aunt Missy rolling crescent rolls around the little weenies

Second cousins (or is it first cousins once-removed??) Bradley and Addison at the dinner table

More kitchen duty- Michael and Missy cleaning up after our New Year's Eve Snacky Foods Feast

Bradley doing "the splits"

Bradley and Addison sharing a snack on the stairs



Happy New Year's!


Laura doing what Laura does best- cooking! These are her famous brussel sprouts. Anyone who thinks they don't like brussel sprouts has probably never tried hers.

New Year's Day 2010- Time to eat! We had 21 people in the house and I think I managed to get everyone in a picture while they were sitting down to eat.

L to R: family friend Tommy, Missy, Michael, Addison, mom, Bradley, George's mom Diane, George's dad Craig (missing from this table is dad, and me, the photographer)

L to R: George's sister Rhonda, Laura, Rhonda's husband Scott, George's brother Jason, and Jason's girlfriend Shannon

The kiddie table: Weston, Garrick, Braedon, & Savannah

Best Buds dad and Tommy

uncle Georgie and B in a basket
the weenie in his smart sweater
I wonder why Bradley thinks dogs are for riding? Maybe because we put him on them like a horse!
Sisters and sisters in law
the cousins- if anyone can tell me how to get 4 children to look at the camera at the same time and smile, please share your secrets with me! Otherwise, this is as good as it gets!
Aside from having lots of family in town to celebrate, the actual turning of the new year was rather underwhelming. We were all tired, and everyone was doing there own thing. I fell asleep on the couch watching "Where the Heart Is" on CMT- a depressing movie anyways- and had to be woken up when the ball dropped at midnight! I went to bed shortly thereafter.
Bradley and I were glad to be able to ring in the new year of Twenty-ten in Tennessee with so many good friends and family though.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the bite is definitely worse than the bark

Whoever said its bark is worse than its bite was obviously not a mother.

I can tell you from personal experience today that I would much rather have watched in shock as the dog barked at Bradley instead of bite him! Yep, Bradley survived his first-ever dog bite, and lived for me to tell the tale. We were over at my friend's house this morning hanging out and letting our boys play when this unfortunate event happened. I have always assumed that dogs who live in houses with small children are good with kids in general, but I guess I had to learn the hard lesson today that you can never be too careful! Just because a dog is used to their own "siblings" doesn't mean they are used to other kids.

I was sitting on the couch when it happened, and ironically, keeping a close eye on Bradley to make sure he was being gentle with the miniature pincher, since B tends to be rough with Chandler. Bradley was offering the dog some plastic play food, and reached forward to give the dog a hug when out of nowhere the dog barked, and bit Bradley right on the forehead. Bradley cried, I was stunned, and my friend was almost in tears herself! Her dog has never bitten anyone before, so I'm not sure why my kid got to be the first! We put the dog up and put ice on B's head and gave him some Tylenol to help with the swelling. We will just be more careful in the future, and keep those two separated from now on!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Tender Tennessee Christmas

The weekend of New Year's, Bradley and I made a trip up to Tennessee to celebrate a belated Christmas. To those of you who don't "get" the title of this blog, it's the name of a horribly cheesy (and yes, real) song that trust me, you don't want to hear if you can help it.
On our way up from FL we stopped in Birmingham to visit my aunt Peggy and uncle Jack. Peggy fed us a yummy lunch and gave us a chance to stretch our legs before jumping back in the car for the remaining 2 1/2 hours of the trip. (Usually by myself with Bradley it takes between 7 and 8 hours total.)

Once we got to mom and dad's on the 30th, we were able to celebrate a belated Christmas and open presents from each other. I took a picture of the mantle because I love all of mom's Christmas decorations. The Santa (or Ho Ho as Bradley calls him) is one that hung in my Grandma Huber's house. All our stockings are hung from the banister and railing, and who's stocking do you think is the biggest??? You can see "Mo Mo" peeking out from the top there.

Here's Bradley giving hugs to "Pa pa." Just a few days before we came to Tennessee, Bradley starting saying Papa whenever we would read the "Grandpa & Me" Karen Katz book. Of course dad loved hearing this, and it made my mom so mad because Bradley wouldn't come close to saying Grandma. She tried all weekend while we were there to get him to say Grandma or Mimi- anything resembling Grandma. Now it seems that we've figured out that for now, Bradley sees a picture of them together and if you ask him who each person is, he calls them both Papa. I suppose that's okay for now.

Here's Laura and I with our beautifully wrapped "packages." We don't know why, but all of a sudden, mom started calling all the presents, packages, a word she doesn't normally use, so it sounded out of place.

I was so proud of finding dad this treasure at Walmart- a small bottle of English Leather cologne! He used to wear this when I was a kid, so it brought back all kinds of memories when he put some on.

What do you get an 18 month old? Puzzles apparently. Lots and lots of wooden puzzles with small pieces that wind up all over my house. Bradley received 5 or 6 wooden puzzles I think from Grandma and Grandpa B. Bradley had fun letting Grandma "help" him with all of them.

George and Juju, flashing their pearly whites for the camera
For some reason everyone thinks it's funny to give my child candy and junk food when he's at Grandma and Grandpa's, because he rarely gets it at home. Yep, Bradley shoved an entire marshmellow peep in his mouth and ate the whole thing.


George and I have been obsessed with the movie Inglourious Basterds after seeing it together in the fall, so we unknowingly got it for each other for Christmas. Here are the BFF's posing with the movie that's all about "Killin' Nat-sees."

Bradley in front of the tree with all of his presents

Bradley tuckered out before opening all of his gifts the night before, so the morning of New Year's Eve, he opened the remaining few. One of these last "packages" was a T ball set. Grandpa B helped Bradley learn how to hold the bat and swing level. Amazingly, the kid still eats, throws, and now bats, left-handed, just like his dad, and his Grandpa B!

Speaking of Grandpa B, I caught him playing with Bradley's toys!
More fun than his new toys were the plastic lights on the breakable tree. Every chance he got, B would climb the stairs and reach through to grab the lights. On more than one occasion we found them in his mouth! The tree then got moved to a safer, more childproof location.

Carrying on our tradition of hiding the pickle ornament on the Christmas tree, I arose victorious now for the 3rd year running I believe! I found the pickle ornament first and thus became the recipient of a $15 iTunes gift card! Take that, sis!
We are so thankful to live within driving distance from Grandma and Grandpa B as well as aunt Laura and uncle George. I know that may not always be the case, so I'm enjoying it while we can! A Christmas celebrated late is better than none celebrated at all!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dumpster Diving

One of the things Bradley got for Christmas this year was a set of Leapfrog alphabet magnets for the refrigerator. I should also mention that currently he is still fascinated with putting objects in containers, ie. throwing his toys in his hamper, or the kitchen trashcan. A few days ago I glanced at the refrigerator magnets and thought, hmm, I thought there were 26 letters in the alphabet, and it sure doesn't look like there are 26 letters up there. I should also mention that the magnets are positioned on the fridge right next to where we keep our trashcan. So regrettably, before trash came yesterday, I sat down on the floor and sang the ABC song as I arranged the letter magnets in order to determine what was missing. Just as I feared, several letters were gone, so then I found myself pawing my way through a nasty bag of kitchen trash. All that work, and all I came up with was an I. The rest of the letters must have made their exit with last week's trash. Oh well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Florida Christmas

This was the first Christmas I was not home with my family to celebrate, and I am proud to say I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Though I certainly missed out on many traditions (putting the ornaments on the velcro advent tree, Christmas Eve candlelight service, opening presents with Laura on Christmas Eve, and mom's homemade punch) and I definitely missed being there with everyone, I had fun playing hostess here on Christmas Day to Ann, and a guy named Chad who is in the Air Force, and had no one to spend Christmas with. Though I will say it's certainly more stressful being the hostess! Instead of getting to watch It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve like I normally do, I was sweeping floors, and making monkey bread at the 11th hour!

This was Bradley's 2nd Christmas, and he was much more aware of the holiday this year. He recognizes Santa everywhere, and says "ho ho" whenever he sees him. The tree fascinated him, but surprisingly I didn't have to stay on him about not touching the ornaments. He unwrapped presents slowly, and tried to unwrap a few gifts prematurely that were under the tree before Christmas morning.

Christmas morning the first gift Bradley got was his rocking horse made by Brian (and painted partially by me). We have an adorable video where he exclaims "a horse!" as he runs to it.

Ann came over that morning around 8:30, and we commenced to opening presents! One of the first gifts Bradley got to was a box of his favorite fruit snacks from Grandma Anna, so of course we had to open the box and give him a package! You can tell how excited he gets about food!















Here's Chandler opening his new warm blanket from Ann. Our newest family member laid around lazily and watched us open gifts. He was most interested in Ann's dog Max, who only stayed til after breakfast and then went home.







A very festive Grandma Anna and Max









The gifts Bradley most enjoyed were the rocking horse, the fruit snacks, and the blocks.


I made the grandparents an awesome calendar from Snapfish going month by month of pictures from Bradley's first year, and split the month of June with his birth and first birthday. Here's Grandma Anna opening hers!















Brian did great shopping for me this year, and managed to find me an amazing pink oversized Coach bag from an outlet store. Here I am with Holly (named both for the Christmas holiday, and the sales associate who rang her up- freaky huh?). Isn't she beautiful?
Mmmmm.... breakfast! Homemade monkey bread, juice, and lots of coffee. That $4 bouquet that I used for my centerpiece was such a great purchase. Flowers are just so darn cheerful!

Bradley's big present from Ann was a Mach 5 Speedracer car. Bradley still hasn't gotten the hang of pushing down the pedal and steering at the same time, but I know as soon as the weather warms up he'll have it down!

After breakfast we went into the cul de sac to try it out!
Brian got Bradley this black and decker tool kit set, so he's demonstrating the proper use of the hard hat and tool belt.

And now poor Bradley is all decked out and looking quite miserable I might add!
Here's B in front of the Christmas tree with all of his gifts, so that I can try and remember years down the road what all he got!

Mmmm! More food!! This was our table spread of snacky foods we munched on throughout the day that included cheese balls and crackers, chips and salsa, little weenies, sugar cookies, chex mix, and homemade 7 layer cookie bars and mint chocolate chip cookies made by me, and homemade pumpkin bars, snowballs, and oatmeal raisin cookies made by Ann.



For Christmas dinner, Brian and Chad manned the new grill that Brian got, and after putting it together, grilled steaks for our main course. I made rosemary potatoes in the oven, and sauteed some fresh green beans, and for added starch, and a kid-friendly side dish we had white cheddar cheese and shells. Aside from the other aforementioned desserts I also had made a pumpkin pie for Brian. I pulled out our fancy dishes and used cloth napkins for the Christmas Day dinner occasion. In the background we listened to our cable tv's holiday music station all day.

That night after Chad left, our neighbor across the street Paul came over and once Bradley was snuggled in bed dreaming of sugar plums, we four played Cranium Hoopla and Taboo! It was a fun day of hopefully new family traditions, celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Resolving to blog

Overwhelmed- that's how I'm starting my new year, now that I'm home and trying to get my house, my planner, and my life back in order after travelling to Tennessee for a few days. I have so many tasks on my to-do list, so many chores around the house to complete, and a million and one pictures to upload, then blogs to write once said pictures are uploaded!

I tend to get so overwhelmed with all my self-imposed work that I often end up spinning my wheels, not accomplishing anything, so I figured if I could at least write a quick blog to get the creative juices flowing (all the while multitasking and printing off a new weekly cleaning list for myself and uploading the pictures from my camera) then I could at least feel satisfied knowing I've accomplished something for the day.

My new year's resolution is a broad but simple one: I want to be in the best shape of my life this year so I can truly be a "hot hot mama." I took steps towards accomplishing this goal last night by getting back on the running wagon, and ran through the neighborhood with the girls for a half hour in sub-zero temps last night. Well okay, so it wasn't sub-zero, but it was at least in the low 30's and it was darn cold!

I started the book Skinny Bitch last week and it calls for a major lifestyle change chanting the mantra over and over, you are what you eat. In short, if you eat crap, then you are crap. It's a snarky tough-love approach geared to make you want to give up (in no particular order) all meat, dairy, cokes, coffee, sugar, caffeine, smoking and drinking (except for organic red wine). I think I might need a daily dose of that organic red wine if I truly gave up all that other stuff! But I'm not finished with the book yet, so I'll save my judgement til then.

So it's January 6th- I wonder how many people have already given up on their resolutions? Not MAB, who's blogging daily for a month!

So, you'd like a wedding at home on January the 6th.... that give us 7 months- uh-oh, Hello! That Five months. Five months, not much.