Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sun & Sand, so far

We are well into beach season and I don't think I've posted any pictures from our time spent at our favorite place!  We've gotten into a routine where pretty much every Saturday we go down to the fake beach (aka Juana's) as a family.  Bradley likes the calmer water of the sound, and will venture into the water fearlessly with one of us holding his hand.  The times when Brian isn't with me, I head to the real beach for some relaxing waves.  It makes for a good compromise.

Bradley is super fair-skinned, so I have to be on top of my game keeping him slathered down in sunscreen, which he hates!  At the beach he wears a shirt, plus I always have a hat on him whenever we're outside during the day.  He refuses to wear sunglasses still.
Learning how to swim with Grandma Anna on Mother's Day 2010

The way the wind has blown his hat, I think Bradley looks like one of the Three Muskateers here!
Watching mommy build a sand castle.  He thinks the "pat pat pat" I do to pack the sand and smooth the edges is funny!
Bradley & Brian at the fake beach.  Thanks to Andrew Reed, Bradley stomps every sand castle we build!
"Cheese!"
Me & Bradley relaxing in the water
One of Bradley's favorite games to play is throwing a shovel into the water, watching it float away, and then going to retrieve it.  Here Brian has walked Bradley out to shoulder-level water to get his red shovel!
A rare moment playing in the sand, and not eating at Navarre beach with Grandma Ann!
Snacks!  Ahh, that's more like it!  I always make Bradley sit under the umbrella whenever he's eating for two reasons; one, to keep the food on the blanket, hopefully eliminating as much sand contamination as possible, and two, to keep him in the shade as much as possible.
We slather on the sunscreen, and hit the beach whenever we can.  Visitors are always welcome!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Terrible Twos & Old Navy Blues

I was THAT mom yesterday- the one with the toddler throwing a fit in the store, apologizing to the sales lady, trying to calm my child down, and trying to hurry up the sales transaction to get the heck out of there!
In Bradley's defense, it was wayyy past his nap time and I had drug him on several errands yesterday, and am surprised he did as well as he did. Could this be our first taste of the terrible twos?? Our last stop was Old Navy (it was supposed to be Target but we didn't made it that far, alas). Bradley spotted a bin of balls at the front of Old Navy, and proceeded to take and carry around a football all over the store. Whatever keeps him a happy shopper, I thought! By the time we were ready to check out though, my son was not so eager to part with that ball. And he let everybody in that store know it, and embarrassed the heck out of me! I hung my head in shame and left the store as quickly as possible.
I am so sorry for ever judging another parent who's been in the same situation, because as much as you try and reason with your tyke, as much as you threaten quietly, count aloud, and shhh them, your child is their own person, and it's impossible to control them!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

the aunts and uncles come to FL

May has been an unexpected month of impromptu visits from a few of Bradley's aunts and uncles. At the first of the month, the passing of Brian's grandpa brought aunt Sarah in from Seattle. Even though the reason for her visit was sad, we were so glad to spend some time with her. We went to the zoo, and Bradley and Sarah posed as kangaroos!
They also took a break from looking at the animals to play on the playground.
Over at Grandma Ann's one night, Bradley got to help aunt Sarah shuck the corn for dinner!
After the memorial service for Grandpa Cimpher there was food for everyone in the church's fellowship hall. After Bradley and Sarah had their fill of all the food, they passed the time by dancing on the stage!
Even though Sarah brought the rain in with her from Seattle, we were so glad to have a few days with her. Who knows when we'll be able to make it out there, or when she'll be back here.
This past week, we were also treated to a visit from aunt Laura and uncle George. Laura had some time off before starting her new job, so the Murdochs decided to drive down for a few days. We cooked Mexican the first night, and I even ventured with them into the Navarre Seafood market the next day to choose some fresh seafood for dinner that night! The guy who worked there was kind of a pill though. He wasn't amused at all when I asked to see a live crab so Bradley could see one.

I knew this spot on the dock would make a great backdrop for pictures. Unfortunately, Bradley was hungry and in no mood for them! Even with us handing him goldfish crackers to eat, he still put up a fuss for all the pictures we tried to take!
 
Bradley's wearing his Little Monstah shirt that Laura & George got him on their honeymoon in Boston, and George is wearing his coordinating Red Sox shirt in honor of the team's game that night.
Bradley with Laura and George
A day at the beach! Or at least, half a day, til Bradley was cranky and was ready to go home. We saw schools of sting rays from the shore, too afraid to venture into the water and get close to them. Bradley planted himself under the umbrella and ate snacks most of the time as usual, and played in the sand the rest of the time.
Lulu and I at the beach. Check out all her freckles that finally decided to come out for the summer!
Bradley loves this book from Kindermusik. It's about a Choo-choo train named Shiny Dinah. Uncle George was kind enough to read it to Bradley. He also taught Bradley the word "Goofball" and the phrase "Hey Chief." Funniest of all was that if asked to say "Go Redsox" Bradley would respond, "Go Yankees!"
We are so glad for the visit from Laura and George and Sarah, and hope to see everyone again soon!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Armadillod and Ready


It's the little things in life that get one excited. Like seeing my first-ever, live armadillo! I may be wrong, but I don't think we have these in Tennessee. At least, I've never heard of anyone seeing them there. Anyways, here I was, leaving a friend's house late at night, driving through the dark windy streets of her neighborhood, listening to the 6 voice mails that had piled up on my phone, when all of a sudden I noticed the little armored guy in the yard next to me. This is the only decent picture I got of the nocturnal nuisance, between the head lights missing him, and my driver's side side mirror blocking my shot. I was too astonished to think quickly enough to adjust my photography any better. And all I could think of was, wow, he looks exactly like they did on Super Mario Brothers!

There's Something About Bradley

This is what happens to my kid's hair after a day at the beach. Sunscreen makes the perfect sculpting gel.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Carried away

Wednesday night Ann and I went to the Pensacola civic center to see Carrie Underwood. I hadn't been a to a concert in forever, and this one did not disappoint. We had a great time, had awesome seats, and had friends there to hang out with in between acts.
Sons of Sylvia was the opening act. 3 Brothers, whose real-life mom's name is Sylvia. Duh. When I took one look at the skinny-panted-doc-marten-clad Emo kids though, and I heard the loud blaring guitars, I realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore... or a country music concert. The lead singer has "Edward" coiffed hair (Ann, the Twi-hard agreed wholeheartedly), and excepting one musical interlude (shown in below photo) where the brothers Sylvia proved they had some backwoods bluegrass roots, the rest of their performance was rock-heavy.
Speaking of rock, the bass player for the next act looked like he mistakenly got off the Def Leppard bus, and onto Craig Morgan's by mistake. He even "rocked out" a few times, banging his 80s hair with the music.
And what does middle-act Craig Morgan look like, you might wonder? Though I recognized almost every one of his songs that night, I couldn't have picked this Cheatham County High School graduate out of a line up if my life depended on it! Neither could these crowd members either I'd bet, if the spotlight hadn't followed Morgan up to the stands! This guy was good as far as middle-acts go, but I don't think he has the charisma, charm, looks, or voice, to make it to the top billing.
Finally Miss Carrie Underwood took the stage, changing no fewer than ten times. I lost count! Almost after every song she would change her clothes slightly, peeling off a skirt to reveal skinny pants, or a jacket to reveal a different top. The girl is gorgeous, and although she can't dance (and she doesn't attempt to, unlike poor Jo Dee Messina) her pipes make up for it! She worked the stage enough, and her set was constantly changing too, just like her outfits, to keep the show anything but boring. This dress was one of my favorites- Carrie emerged from the floor looking like a barbie doll with a "dress" made up of LED lights. She sparkled as she sang.
This set and dress was very reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks to me. Carrie looked every bit the southern bell with her full skirt as she sang from the big swing.
Another "what was he thinking" member of the bands tonight was Carrie's guitar/banjo player, who was channeling the Mad Hatter. Interesting. For a pre-concert, That Ain't Right caught on film, click Here.
Finally, our glam girl finished the evening with "Before He Cheats," the song I had been humming in my head all day getting ready for the concert. I was pleasantly surprised with how good Carrie Underwood sounded live. Her show was visually interesting, and she was sweet as she could be, besides sounding exactly like she does on her records. It made for a fantastic girl's night out.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Why receipting is so much better than giving

I am strolling down memory lane today. Not by choice, but by necessity. I keep all my receipts in a (hot pink) expandable file folder, and it recently came to my attention that it was bursting at the seams. So here I go, alphabetically pulling out piles of receipts from purchases past. It's really funny to me how the ones closer to the front are mostly things like groceries (aka evidence of my married/family life now) whereas the ones in the back are mostly makeup and clothes purchases from my single days (turns out I shopped at the Cosmetic Market and the Gap a LOT!)

Would you like to stroll with me? Here are some of the interesting ones I've found so far:
  • Cheapside Bar & Grill in Lexington, KY- a receipt for 3 drinks (2 whiskey sours and a Long Island Iced Tea) from New Year's eve, Dec 31st, 2004!!!!!!! Yes, I told you this chore was long overdue!
  • A receipt from a boutique in Houston called Hemline (4/14/2006) on a DIVA trip to visit Conley, where I purchased a white sundress; the same white sundress that I was wearing a few years later on the night I met Brian, and still wear and love to this day.
  • Makeup and hair accessories purchased from H&M in New York City (7/19/2005) during my mission trip through Kairos
  • A Goodwill store receipt with clothing items for our friend Beth's "white trash Halloween bash." (10/26/2006) Next to each item of clothing I have written an 'R' for Rhonda and an 'A' for myself so we would know how much Rhonda owed me for her items!
  • an H&M store receipt from my Chicago trip with Mary Anna (7/20/2007). Weirdly enough, I'm wearing today a short-sleeved cardigan that I bought on this receipt.
  • Greenhouse bar in Green Hills- 12/28/2006- I only went here a few times, even though it is a really cool bar. I'm pretty sure Sarah Scott and Lana were with me this night.
  • Maternal Fetal Group (8/22/2008) from a freaking expensive ultrasound that my crappy insurance didn't pay for!
  • Questionable items from Spencer Gifts for Ari's bachelorette party (6/22/2007)
  • The grand opening of the brand-new Nashville Sephora store! (3/17/2006 at 11:12am) My friends and I skipped work that day to attend the grand opening! I am a little embarrassed by this (and shocked now), but I spent close to $200 that day on makeup!!!
  • Tayst restaurant in Nashville (12/8/2005) where Emily Borders and I split dinner and dessert, and claim to have had the best "date" ever!
  • Tootsies Orchid Lounge (1/9/2005)- no idea what's significant about this night, but it's the only receipt from my favorite Nashville Honkeytonk that's survived through the years
  • Target (1/25/2008)- there were too many Target receipts in my file to count, but this particular one contains the evidence from our very first purchase once we found out we were having a boy that day (from the aforementioned way-expensive ultrasound!)- a blue "daddy's little wingman" onesie

This was such an unexpectedly fun chore! Now time to go file all my current receipts so I can do this in another 10 years!